PM Lee Hsien Loong and ministers congratulate Joseph Schooling for reaching 100m butterfly final

Joseph Schoolingin action during the Men's 100m Butterfly Semifinal on Aug 11, 2016.
Joseph Schoolingin action during the Men's 100m Butterfly Semifinal on Aug 11, 2016. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated Joseph Schooling on his "stellar performance" in the pool on Friday (Aug 12).

Schooling finished first in his 100m butterfly semi-final with a time of 50.83sec - a new Asian and national record, a personal best for the 21-year-old swimmer, and the fastest time in the world this year.

PM Lee wrote: "He has done Singapore very proud! Hope all of you will join me in supporting him as he competes in the finals tomorrow at 9.12am. All the best, Joseph, we are all cheering for you. Go Team Singapore! :) - LHL"

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam called Schooling a "sensation", and said Quah Zheng Wen swam with "great style".

Quah, who was in the first semi-final, was 15th overall with a time of 52.26sec.

"History has been made for our little nation," he added.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen posted "Fly Schooling, Fly!" on Facebook in response.

Schooling's "hard work and training, day after day, over the past few years has paid off", Dr Ng said.

"Go for it, Joseph!" he added.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam, and Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan Jin were in the stands cheering Schooling on, and compatriot Quah .

President Tan said in his post that he went straight to the Olympic Aquatic Stadium after landing in Rio de Janeiro.

"The races were very exciting and both Joseph and Zheng Wen did Singapore proud," he wrote.

"I look forward to seeing Joseph compete against the best in the world tomorrow. Together with Singaporeans back home, I wish him all the best!

"My strongest encouragement to Zheng Wen too, for having progressed so far. He swam his heart out for Singapore and we are proud of him."

Minister Tan, who is also the President of the Singapore National Olympic Committee, posted photos of both their swims, saying: "Proud of our Boys in Brazil."

On Schooling, he also posted on Instagram: "Fastest in world 2016."

Fastest in world 2016. Photo by Kevin Lim, Straits Times

Fastest in world 2016. Photo by Kevin Lim, Straits Times

A post shared by Tan Chuan-Jin (@chuanjin1) on

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said on his Facebook page MParader that he hopes Schooling will also be the best in the final - that is, to win a gold medal.

He wrote: "Congratulations to Joseph Schooling on a great swim. You were the best in the 100m butterfly semi-finals.

"Now be the BEST in the Finals. I, like many other Singaporeans, will be watching you swim tomorrow morning. Best wishes and good luck."

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan posted a short and sweet "Well done Joseph Schooling!".

Non-constituency member of parliament Daniel Goh of the Workers' Party also wrote a message of encouragement .

"GO Schooling GO Singapore!!! Final 9.12am tomorrow. GO GO GO!!!"