Swimming: Olympic champ Joseph Schooling shatters 8-year US meet record in 50-yard freestyle

A file photo of Joseph Schooling reacting after winning the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's 100m butterfly final, on Aug 12, 2016.
A file photo of Joseph Schooling reacting after winning the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's 100m butterfly final, on Aug 12, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Olympic champion Joseph Schooling smashed an eight-year meet record when he won the 50-yard freestyle in 18.76sec at the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship on Friday morning (Singapore time).

Schooling, a butterfly specialist, eclipsed the 2009 Big 12 conference record of 18.84sec set by Jimmy Feigen. Feigen is a freestyle sprinter who was part of the United States team that clinched the 4x100m freestyle gold at last year's Olympics.

The University of Texas student beat team-mates Jack Conger (19.27) and Brett Ringgold (19.29) to clinch the gold medal.

Schooling said: "I am happy with the timings that I have clocked so far. Of course breaking a record is a bonus. I feel good and I am at (the level) where I want to be.

 

"The last few months have been about working on the small details and getting them right. It is working well and I just need to remain focused and do well in the (National Collegiate Athletic Association swimming championships) next month."

According to popular swimming website Swimswam.com, he is now tied with Simonas Bilis as the 10th fastest performer of all time in the event.

His next race at the meet is the 100fly prelims in the session six of the meet, which will start at midnight. The competition is held in the short-course yards format (25-yard laps), the standard format for American collegiate swim meets.