SINGAPORE - Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen returned from the Fina World Championships in Budapest on Tuesday (Aug 1), all smiles and happy to be home.
For Schooling, this visit home before departing for the Aug 19-30 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur was the balm that would soothe the wounds of a "disappointing" outing at the world championships.
"(Being back) on home ground, eating the food I like and meeting my family and friends makes me feel a lot better," said the 22-year-old.
"(The world championships are) still going to be on my mind until I do something good about it ... I'm going to use it as motivation and practise everyday, put in 110 per cent."
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The 100m butterfly Olympic champion had been gunning to win the 50m and 100m butterfly events. Instead, he finished fifth in the 50m fly - breaking the national and Asian record twice en route to the final - and settled for joint bronze in the 100m-fly with Britain's James Guy, both posting 50.83 sec in the final.
Quah, who was met by his parents and sisters Ting Wen and Jing Wen at the airport, was also looking forward to improving at future meets.
"(I've) set myself up well for 2020. Definitely looking forward to the SEA Games," he added.
Quah, 20, did not progress beyond the heats in any of his five events. He narrowly missed out on semi-final spots in the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and 100m backstroke after placing 18th overall in those events. The 20-year-old also finished 30th in the 50m backstroke and 24th in the 200m backstroke, where his 1min 59:49sec effort was a new national record.
Reflecting on the lessons he learned in Budapest, he said: "Something to take away from the meet is just be really focused and keep your eyes on the prize no matter what. Anything can happen in the heats ... you can't get too overconfident."
The duo will next compete in the KL SEA Games, where they have a packed schedule of events. Schooling is slated to swim six events, while Quah will swim seven.
They will both feature in the 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley relay and 4x200m freestyle relays. Schooling's three individual races are the 50m and 100m butterfly and the 100m freestyle. Quah will swim in three backstroke events - 50m, 100m and 200m - and the 200m butterfly.