Tao Li dismisses retirement talk

Swimfast Aquatic Club's stalwarts (from left) Amanda Lim, Frieda Lim, Meagan Lim, Tao Li, Lynette Ng, Rainer Ng and Roanne Ho at last night's dinner to mark the club's 20th anniversary.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore swimmer Tao Li yesterday shot down speculation that she will be hanging up her goggles soon.

Speculation had been rife that the 25-year-old is winding down her sports career, having indicated her desire to focus on her studies after the Singapore SEA Games.

But Tao, who won all five of her events at the biennial meet last month, said retirement has not crossed her mind.

The two-time Asian Games gold medallist told The Sunday Times: "I keep hearing people say I might stop swimming but I have no intention of retiring.

"If I can still make the national team, I will compete, maybe at the Asian Games, SEA Games or the Fina World Cup legs."

But the butterfly specialist did admit that the sport would take a back seat for the next year at least.

Said Tao: "The main focus would be my studies. I also plan to start a swim club by the end of the year.

"So those two will be the priority for now."

Her business management course - at the Singapore Institute of Management-RMIT - will start next month.

Tao was speaking at the 20th anniversary dinner of local club Swimfast Aquatic Club (SAC) at the Sheraton Towers Singapore.

SAC was founded by former national swimmer David Lim and started with just 20 members.

It currently boasts some 300 members, among them current national stars Quah Zheng Wen, Amanda Lim and Quah Ting Wen.

The club has also won 10 of the last 11 Singapore National Swimming Championship titles.

Lim, 48, who retired from the coaching scene after the Singapore SEA Games, said that he is passing the SAC baton to his colleague Leonard Tan , 29.

Lim, a three-time Sportsman of the Year, told his swimmers: "I'm happy we rode through the tough times to be where we are today."

Tan, who started working for the club in 2008, said: "The main thing is to maintain the winning tradition, produce more national swimmers and build on what we have.

"There's definitely a bit of stress but I'm prepared to take it on."


This article was first published on July 12, 2015.
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