SINGAPORE - By Joseph Schooling's lofty standards, the year has been a trying one.
But the Olympic champion believes he will enter this month's world championships in Budapest, Hungary in good form, and he is confident of achieving his target of breaking the 100m butterfly world record there.
Michael Phelps currently holds the 100m fly world record of 49.82sec.
Schooling also said earlier this week that he is gunning for golds in the 50m and 100m butterfly races.
Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox
The 22-year-old posted 48.74sec en route to winning the 100m freestyle event at the Speedo Southern Zone Long Course Sectional Championships in Texas on Friday (Singapore time).
Schooling was unveiled on Friday (July 7) as Milo Singapore's brand ambassador. Speaking to media and guests at the Nestle R&D Centre over Skype, he revealed the 100m freestyle race did not tire him out.
His next race is the 100m butterfly today (US time), and he added: "I'm excited to post a time officially, and my goal is to have the fastest time ... I think that's going to send a message to everyone.
"I feel confident and I'm excited, I just want it to be here already."
The July 6-9 sectional championships are part of Schooling's final phase of preparations. The swimming competition at the world championships take place from July 23-30. Before that, he will attend a training camp in Croatia from July 14-20.
Beyond the world championships, the University of Texas undergraduate also has his sights on next month's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
He will swim in six events at the Aug 19-30 Games - the 50m and 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays, and the 4x100m medley relay.
"My goal (for the SEA Games) like I've said time after time is to win, break records and help Team Singapore as best as I can," said Schooling.
"And with my training the last few months, I'm happy and confident to say that I'm going to do that.
"I'm going to hit my goals ... I'm ready to fight - and fight well."
Schooling's appointment as brand ambassador of Milo is part of a partnership between the latter, the Singapore National Olympic Council and the 29th SEA Games.
He said: "I'm humbled and happy to be Milo's new ambassador. The brand truly resonates with me. As a child, I grew up drinking Milo. Today, it remains relevant in my life as an adult and the beverage provides me with the energy and nutrients I need to take on the day's challenges, be it at training or in life."
A new product named Milo Gao Siew Dai was also introduced, targeted at adult Singaporeans to raise awareness of beverages with reduced sugar. Milo Gao Siew Dai features 50 per cent less table sugar and 30 per cent more protein.
It was launched in tandem with the Health Promotion Board's aim to reduce sugar intake among Singaporeans.