Commonwealth Games: Schooling wins Singapore's first swimming medal, clinching silver in 100m butterfly final
Published on Jul 29, 2014 8:43 AM
Years of hard work had boiled down to an outburst of explosive energy as Joseph Schooling powered his way into Singapore sports history by winning the country's first-ever swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games.
The 19-year-old clinched the silver in the 100m butterfly at Glasgow's Tollcross Swimming Centre when he touched home in a new national record time of 51.69 secs, which erased his old national mark of 52.22 secs he set in the semi-finals.
It also eclipsed the Asian Games record (51.83 secs) set in 2010 by China's Zhou Jiawei but it is 0.69 secs slower than the Asian record held by Japan's Kohei Kawamoto since 2009.
South Africa's swim star Chad le Clos won the gold with a new games record time of 51.29 secs while England's Adam Barrett took the bronze (51.93 secs).
Schooling, who had been plagued by poor starts, overly tight swim shorts and a bout of self-doubt during the Commonwealth Games, regained his confidence by relaxing and bonding with his team-mates.
Rejuvenated, he produced a textbook swim with a quick start off the blocks, powering ahead, was second at the split (27.45 secs) and continued surging without losing steam to touch the wall and earn his place in Singapore's sports history.
"This is a huge honour and a huge relief," said an exhausted Schooling after the race.
"I started the Commonwealth Games well with a good heat in the 50m butterfly but I relaxed and it went downhill. I completely messed up my 200m butterfly. But I managed to come back and beat these guys in the 100m final.
"It showed how much I've matured."
Schooling will take part in the 200m individual medley heats today.