Pole vaulter seeks compensation after she was not picked for Asiad
National record holder wants to recover training costs and loss of income after missing out on Asiad
National pole vaulter Rachel Yang is seeking compensation from Singapore Athletics (SA) after she was not selected for the recent Asian Games in Indonesia.
A lawyer engaged by the 36-year-old athlete has sent a letter to the sport's local governing body, proposing a "without prejudice" meeting to try and find a resolution to her claim against the SA.
The Straits Times understands that she is asking for a five-figure sum.
"Without prejudice" means that, should the meeting and a genuine attempt to settle the dispute take place, any statements made by the two parties during it will not be admissible in court should litigation later take place.
Yang is attempting to recover the costs she had incurred in training and preparing overseas for the Aug 18-Sept 2 Games, as well as for the loss of income as she had taken no-pay leave from her job to prepare for the competition.
The disagreement between Yang and SA centres on the qualifying period for the Asiad.
In a post on SA's website dated Feb 6 this year, it was stated that the window for qualification ran from April 15, 2017, to June 17, 2018.
The Singapore National Olympic Council's (SNOC) qualifying benchmark is the sixth-placed result at the previous Asian Games - which is the 3.90m set by Chayanisa Chomchuendee of Thailand at the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea.
Going by this, Yang's 3.91m effort cleared at the Thailand Open in June last year - a national record - meant she had qualified for selection.
But the SNOC's qualifying window for this year's Games - reflected in a post on its website dated Sept 26, 2017 - stipulates that "all achievements should be achieved within a 13-month period before the 2018 Asian Games".
This meant the start of the SNOC's qualifying window was July 18, rendering her result invalid.
ST understands that after Yang missed out on selection, SA had offered to compensate her for her training expenses - which amount to about $5,000 - but she had turned it down, as she also factored in her loss of income.
Yang, who works as an assistant marketing manager, had taken no-pay leave from the middle of March till the end of August.
She had previously estimated that the total income lost during this period was about $26,000.
Yesterday, she said: "I have reached out to SA to try to resolve this matter internally and look forward to meeting them soon."
SA has to respond to a request for a meeting within two weeks of the letter, which is dated Sept 12.
SA general manager Yip Ren Kai told ST that it was "still trying to resolve" the matter and refused to divulge more.