SINGAPORE - Singapore swimmer Quah Zheng Wen will study and train at the University of California, Berkeley, as he aims for glory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
He will leave for the US on Thursday (Jan 12). ST has approached the swimmer and the Singapore Swimming Association for comment.
The 20-year-old will join a prestigious set-up that includes triple Olympic champion Ryan Murphy (100m and 200m backstroke, 4x100m medley). The Cal Bears swim team are also in Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Swimming and Diving Championships.
They are coached by David Durden, who has led the Cal Bears to three team titles in nine seasons at the helm. Durden is also a four-time NCAA Coach of the Year.
Said Gary Tan, head coach of the national training centre squad: "I'm very proud of Zheng Wen's achievements and decision to pursue his dream in the US.
"It is a wonderful opportunity for any student-athlete to not only be able to study in one of the best universities but also to be able to train with a world-class team.
"I'm confident that if he continues to train hard, whether at home or abroad, he'll be in a great position to achieve his dreams. I wish him the very best and he will always have a home with the National Training Centre."
While Quah has secured a place in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, he will not be studying medicine in the US, as a bachelor's degree is required.
He is currently awaiting clearance from the NCAA, which has yet to approve his participation in the NCAA swimming championships.
A 10-time SEA Games gold medallist, Quah served notice of his potential at the Rio Olympics when he reached two semi-finals - the 100m and 200m butterfly. He was the third-youngest semi-finalist in the 200m fly and second-youngest semi-finalist in the 100m.
In light of his achievements, the Ministry of Defence extended his national service deferment until after the Tokyo Games.
Quah's national team-mate and Olympic champion Joseph Schooling is also competing in Division 1 of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships with the University of Texas at Austin.