Swimming: Schooling shaping up well for world meet

Joseph Schooling competing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) swimming championships.
Joseph Schooling competing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) swimming championships.PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

Joseph Schooling has maintained that he is happy with his progress ahead of next month's swimming World Championships.

The Olympic 100m butterfly champion was assessing his performance at the Texas Senior Circuit on Saturday, after pulling out of the 200m butterfly final despite being the second-fastest qualifier.

He clocked 2min 0.21sec in the 200m fly heats, some way off his personal best (PB) of 1:55.73, which he clocked at the 2015 SEA Games.

But the University of Texas student, who turns 22 on Friday, said: "I came into this meet with a few objectives and I am happy with my progress so far.

"I managed to clock a couple of top times in the world this year but that does not mean anything to me at this stage because what matters is how you do at Budapest.

"My focus is to continue working on things that I need to improve on and there will be one or two more competitions here in Texas for me to do that, before Budapest."

Results have shown that he is shaping up nicely towards Hungary, where he has qualified for four events - the 50m, 100m and 200m fly, and the 100m freestyle.

On Thursday, Schooling clocked the 12th-fastest 50m fly time in the world this year with his 23.51sec winning effort.

And in his 100m fly victory on Friday, he swam 51.82sec to record the world's seventh-fastest time this season.

Schooling had earlier said he hopes to win more than one medal at the world championships, while also aiming to break Michael Phelps' 100m fly world record (49.82sec).

His PB is 50.39sec, set en route to winning gold in Rio last August, when he beat the legendary American.

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline 'Schooling shapes up well for world meet'. Print Edition | Subscribe