SINGAPORE - Olympic champion Joseph Schooling swam 50.96sec to win the 100m butterfly race at the Speedo Southern Zone Long Course Sectional Championships in Texas on Sunday morning (July 9, Singapore time).
It was the Singaporean's fastest time this year and also the second-best in the world this season.
Only American Caeleb Dressel, who clocked 50.87sec at the US Nationals last week, has also managed a sub-51sec time.
In Texas, James Cooper was second in 52.13sec, while Bryce Bohman was third (53.08sec).
Schooling, 22, had earlier posted 53.12sec to emerge the top finisher in the heats.
On Friday (Singapore time), he won the 100m freestyle in 48.74sec.
Said Schooling after the 100m butterfly final: "I wanted to clock the fastest time going into Budapest but I am happy with my time ... it is the second-fastest time this year and the same time that won me bronze (at the last world championships) in Kazan in 2015.
"Caeleb has the fastest time this year but I am not going to let anyone take that No. 1 spot from me. I am looking forward to an interesting showdown in Budapest."
The Texas meet is Schooling's last before the July 14-30 Fina World Championships in Budapest, where he will swim in four events - 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly, and 100m freestyle.
The swimming competition starts on July 23.
The University of Texas undergraduate added: "All the preparations and hard work are done. I leave for Croatia in a couple of days for a training camp with the Singapore team and I will be ready come 23 July."