Quah, along with Levenia Sim, Letitia Sim and sister Quah Jing Wen, had earlier this year led Singapore to a historic Olympic qualification for a relay spot. 

The quartet did this by swimming to a 9th-place finish at the world championships in Doha in February. 

However, to send a relay team to Paris, the team had to meet the World Aquatics requirement of having a maximum of two relay-only swimmers. 

At the time, of the four swimmers, only Letitia had met the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT), or “A” cut, 100m breaststroke, giving her a direct path to Paris.

This left Singapore with three relay-only swimmers – the Quah sisters and Levenia – one over the limit.

World Aquatics had then granted Singapore one extra relay-only slot on an “exceptional basis”. 

However, World Aquatics later offered Gan an invitation to participate in the women’s 1,500m freestyle based on her Olympic Consideration Time (OCT) – or “B” cut – of 16:10.61 clocked in June. 

An OCT, on the other hand, is a time set by the swimming governing body that is slightly slower than the OQT. Swimmers who achieve the OCT may still be considered for Olympic selection, but it is not guaranteed.

This meant that the privilege of the extra relay-only slot was no longer in force when Gan accepted the invitation, said SAQ in a statement.

Singapore now had two athletes who qualified for the Olympics with qualification timings, and so it no longer had a third relay-only slot. 

SAQ said that it had decided to send Gan to the Olympics based on selection criteria that had been in force since June 2023. 

Based on SAQ’s criteria, the selection of individual athletes for the Paris Games is first based on swimmers who made the OQT (Letitia), then for athletes who made the OCT and received an invitation from World Aquatics (Gan). 

For relay swimmers, the first criteria would be to meet the qualification marks. 

Thus, through this criteria, Gan was chosen instead of the elder Quah. 

Quah then lodged an appeal with SAQ, but it was rejected. 

In turn, SAQ appealed to World Aquatics to reinstate the extra relay-only slot so both Gan and Quah could participate in Paris. It was informed on Monday that the appeal was unsuccessful. 

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