A confident Joseph Schooling set a new personal best and national record in the 100m freestyle on Tuesday, celebrating Singapore’s national day by qualifying for the Semi-Finals at Rio.
The 21-year-old finished second in Heat 6 and placed amongst eight swimmers with new national record time of 48.27s, lowering his previous mark of 48.58s set in last year's SEA Games.
TeamSG swimmer Joseph Schooling after his 100m Freestyle heats. Photo: Sport Singapore
Schooling was sixth fastest overall in the qualifying heats.
Appearing at his second Olympics and with Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and SEA Games success under his belt, Schooling appears far from fazed by the environment.
“It was a little nervous going in but it felt different. It doesn’t feel like the Olympics and it's a lot different from London 2012 that’s for sure. Its a big deal but you try not to see it that way,” he said.
Schooling opted to race the 100m Free rather than the 200m Fly and said he felt that was the right decision.
TeamSG swimmer Joseph Schooling getting a good start to his 100m Freestyle heats. Photo: Sport Singapore
“Swimming three 100m events is a lot easier than swimming three 200m events that’s for sure - the main goal is the 100m Fly,” he said.
Team Singapore’s leading contender for a medal in Rio said he was glad to have been in the water and got his first swim out of the way.
“It is a morning swim, a first swim so this one probably hurts the most, I expected that. It felt fun,” he said.
Now he gets the chance to compete for a place in the final with many fans watching at home during National Day celebrations.
“I’m happy, it is a good day to start racing, people will be watching, it is a happy day.”
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