Sporting Life

For Singapore hopefuls, Olympic qualification can be achingly close

If you wish to go to an Olympics then you have to pay an unspecified price. Pay it in kilometres, in hours, in pain, in tears. Pay it for days and years. Pay it happily, agonisingly, frustratedly and then find there's just a little more distance to go.

And so after swimming roughly 2,160km this year, which is 43,200 lengths of a 50m pool; after multiple daily commutes from Woodlands by train and bus which can take 41/2 hours in total; after all that and dreaming, hurting, trying, this is how close, and really how far, Darren Chua, 19, is from his first Olympics.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2019, with the headline 'For S'pore hopefuls, Olympic qualification can be achingly close'. Print Edition | Subscribe