Team Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling came into this Rio Olympics with only one event on his mind — the 100m Butterfly.
And despite racing in the 100 metres Freestyle semi-final on Tuesday, where he posted a time of 48.7 seconds, finishing eighth in his race and 16th overall, Schooling still had only the 100m Fly on his mind.
TeamSG swimmer Joseph Schooling all set for the 100m Butterfly event on 12 August 0122 hours (SG time). Photo: Sport Singapore
“It was alright. I feel warmed up for my 100m Fly. I hadn’t trained for this event and so it was nice to be top 16. I am pleased with it,” he said.
“I’m happy, I will rest tomorrow, get ready for the 100m Fly and then I start getting into the meet,” he said.
Such is his focus on his strongest event that Schooling said he almost unintentionally switched style in his morning heat.
“The first stroke this morning I almost took a fly stroke,” he said with a grin.
While he broke his own national record in the heat, posting 48.27 seconds, the 21-year-old was never in contention in the semi, racing in front of a loud crowd at the Olympic Aquatic Stadium in Rio.
But that will be a different story when it comes to the 100m Butterfly where he has a real chance of making the final.
Schooling switched from his original plan of racing the 200m Fly and opted for the shorter freestyle race mainly as a way to ease himself into the competition ahead of his main event.
“You just get the nerves out. I know now what the atmosphere is like, I know how I need to feel, how to adjust my body, that’s what I learned today.” he said.
Schooling, who won bronze in 100m Fly in the World Championships last year and is the Asian champion in the event, said it was vital to try to keep to a routine during all the hullabaloo of the Olympics.
“You have just got to do your thing, you can’t worry about anything else. You aren’t going to learn that overnight, you have to do it multiple times, that is what I have taken out of years of racing at this level,” he said.
The University of Texas student is not lacking in confidence about his form.
“My Fly is looking smooth. I did a 100m Fly a few days before I took off and I was 51.4s.With an atmosphere like this and with Michael (Phelps) beside me, I think I will be a lot faster.
“Now I am just going back to eat, watch some videos on YouTube, just chill out and go again.
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