Swimming: Sport science support was instrumental to Rio gold, says Schooling

Olympic champion Joseph Schooling during a golf fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club organised by the Singapore Swimming Association on Tuesday (Nov 22).
Olympic champion Joseph Schooling during a golf fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club organised by the Singapore Swimming Association on Tuesday (Nov 22).ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Olympic champion Joseph Schooling during a golf fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club organised by the Singapore Swimming Association on Tuesday (Nov 22).
Olympic champion Joseph Schooling during a golf fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club organised by the Singapore Swimming Association on Tuesday (Nov 22).ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Olympic champion Joseph Schooling during a golf fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club organised by the Singapore Swimming Association on Tuesday (Nov 22).
Olympic champion Joseph Schooling during a golf fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club organised by the Singapore Swimming Association on Tuesday (Nov 22).ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Olympic champion Joseph Schooling during a golf fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club organised by the Singapore Swimming Association on Tuesday (Nov 22).
Olympic champion Joseph Schooling during a golf fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club organised by the Singapore Swimming Association on Tuesday (Nov 22).ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - His parents were the pillar of support throughout his swimming career but Olympic champion Joseph Schooling also paid tribute on Tuesday (Nov 22) to nutritionist Kirsty Fairbairn and biomechanist Ryan Hodierne as being instrumental to his success in Rio.

Speaking before he participated in a golf fund-raiser organised by the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA), the 21-year-old butterfly specialist said: "Before the (final) race Ryan was telling me when and where exactly different people might catch me.

"For example, Chad (le Clos) on paper statistically had the best last 7m out of anyone, and you could see in the last 5m he tied for second, so that goes to show how accurate Ryan is.

"For me, the numbers from the prelims and semis showed that people gained on me in the last 25m. So during the race I was more prepared for people coming up next to me in the last 25m, and could tell myself not to freak out and to just keep pressing - I could mentally prepare myself for it."

He also thanked New Zealand-based Fairbairn and said: "Kirsty's the first nutritionist I've had that monitors my plans and makes a huge effort to pester me about what I'm doing and eating - the flight plan that she gave me planned out every hour of my trip coming to Singapore and going back to the US.

"We need more people who pay a lot of attention to detail like that to run our system."

Schooling set a new Olympic record of 50.39s in Brazil in August, nearly one second ahead of an joint-silver finish of 51.14s shared by American great Michael Phelps, South African le Clos and Hungarian Laszlo Cseh.

The Singaporean is set to receive $1 million for his Olympic gold under the Multi-Million Dollar Awards Programme (MAP) on Thursday, and will return 20 per cent of that amount to the SSA for future training and development.

He said: "I think giving back my share to help youth development is important and that's fine with me, but I hope to see some improvement and results from it."

The SSA hoped to raise $500,000 to support elite athletes' post swimming careers, long-term athlete development and professional staff development during the fund-raiser at Tanah Merah Country Club.