National swimmers Joseph Schooling and Theresa Goh to receive National Day Awards

Joseph Schooling (left) and Theresa Goh.
Joseph Schooling (left) and Theresa Goh. PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, REUTERS

SINGAPORE - National swimmers Joseph Schooling and Theresa Goh will receive National Day Awards for their achievements at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Schooling, 21, will be conferred the Meritorious Service Medal (Pingat Jasa Gemilang), the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) announced on Friday (Oct 7). In August, he beat swimming greats, including American Michael Phelps, to clinch Singapore's first Olympic gold and set a new Olympic record in the 100m men's butterfly final.

Schooling, a student at the University of Texas in Austin, said in a statement: "It is a great honour to receive this award. My Olympic gold medal is the culmination of not only my hard work all these years, but also the strong support from my family and friends, partners and the sports fraternity in Singapore."

"It is an achievement that everyone shares a part of. This award recognition motivates me to keep working hard and I will continue to do my best to fly our Singapore flag high on the world stage."

Goh, 29, a Paralympic bronze medallist who was previously awarded the Public Service Medal (Pingat Bakti Masyarakat), will receive the Public Service Star (Bintang Bakti Masyarakat).

According to Goh's award citation, she is being recognised not just for her Paralympic performance but also for "her tremendous spirit of resilience and her perseverance in the pursuit of sporting excellence".

Goh said: "It's a truly great honour to be conferred the Public Service Star as it serves as an encouragement and recognition of the hard work by the people who've helped me get to where I am today."

MCCY Minister Grace Fu congratulated Schooling and Goh, saying in a statement: "The National Day Award is a well-deserved recognition of their contributions to sporting excellence and for their impact on society, particularly with the youth."

Fellow national swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, 24, who took home two golds at the Rio Paralympics, was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (Pingat Jasa Gemilang) for her first gold in Beijing in 2008.

The honours will be presented by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the upcoming National Day Awards Investiture.