SINGAPORE — Singapore have pulled out of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (16 December) after four of the 14 swimmers in the squad tested positive for COVID-19.
The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that all four swimmers tested positive following a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, as part of the competition's testing protocols.
FINA, swimming's world governing body, has informed SSA that the Singapore swimmers will not be able to compete at the championships, as the contingent is in close contact with the positive cases. SSA said in its Facebook post that it will abide by the existing protocols of the host nation.
The squad includes SEA Games medallists Teong Tzen Wei, Pang Sheng Jun, Darren Chua, Maximillian Ang, Nur Marina Chan, Amanda Lim and Quah Jing Wen.
The Singapore contingent had travelled to Dubai on Sunday and cleared the pre-departure test then, before arriving in Abu Dhabi the next day for the short-course world championships, scheduled to be held from 16 to 21 December.
"SSA is keeping in close contact with the swimmers, their families, and the authorities, providing all the necessary support to ensure that the health and safety of our swimmers are taken care of," SSA said in its Facebook statement.
"The affected swimmers have been moved to a dedicated quarantine facility. The rest of the members of the Singapore contingent are currently self-quarantined."
The SSA is making travel arrangements for members of the contingent who have not tested positive to fly back to Singapore. Meanwhile, its technical director Sonya Porter will remain in Abu Dhabi to look after the affected swimmers and will fly back to Singapore with them after they are allowed to travel.
The FINA world championships have been hit by several COVID-related complications, with FINA president Husain Al-Musallam saying that seven nations had withdrawn from the meet due to issues related to the Omicron variant.
Italian breaststroker Fabio Scozzoli, who was the 2012 world-short course champion in the 100m breaststroke event, withdrew from the competition after testing positive for COVID-19.
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore