Team Singapore

New Singapore caps off to Glasgow

Now is not the time for a witch-hunt, let's solve the problem first.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) secretary-general Oon Jin Teik admitted the flap over the caps used by the Republic's swimmers at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was "unacceptable", but said the immediate priority was to correct the mistake.

Yesterday, TNP reported that the Speedo swim caps used by Singapore's swimmers were found to be in breach of the rules and team officials had to scramble for replacement caps for 10 of their 11 swimmers, albeit without the national flag on them.

While the 20 square-centimetre brand logo on the Singapore caps met Fina rules, it was more than triple the six square-centimetre limit imposed by the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Speaking on the sidelines of a media luncheon hosted by the Singapore Sports Hub, Oon, the chief operating officer of the Sports Hub, said: "As soon as we heard about the issue, we immediately got replacements printed with the Singapore flag overnight and made plans to fly them over.

"We want to thank TYR, and their marketing representative Li Jin, who rushed to Malaysia to get them printed at 6am."

The caps for 10 of Singapore's 11 swimmers - Joseph Schooling's cap, sponsored by TYR, did not infringe the rules - will be delivered to the swimmers via national weightlifting coach Wu Chuan Fu today, after he left for the Games yesterday.

Oon also gave the assurance the SSA will be looking into the lapse.

Said Oon: "My understanding is this problem transpired months ago, and somebody from our secretariat has obviously dropped the ball.

"The specifications are different from event to event, but that's no excuse at all.

"We have stated that we will conduct an inquiry and get to the bottom of this to find answers and to ensure that such administrative lapses do not happen again.

"Meanwhile there is only one focus now and that is to correct the situation, work with the chef de mission to focus the team on their task at hand, which is to do well at the Games."

This is the third incident involving caps for Singapore swimming at a major Games in the last decade.

At the 2012 London Olympics, Schooling was told minutes before his 200m butterfly heat that his cap and goggles, both manufactured by TYR, were not on the list of approved equipment.

The hiccup rattled Schooling, who clocked two seconds more than his personal best at the time.

At the 2007 world championships in Melbourne, Tao Li was unable to use her usual cap because the size of the national flag printed on it was deemed too big.

Subsequently, she had to wear one given by Fina, the sport's governing body and, after she failed to make the final in the 100 fly, the swimmer complained about the ill-fitting cap. 

- DAVID LEE