PB for Schooling in 100-yard backstroke

Singaporean butterfly specialist Joseph Schooling underlined his repertoire by clocking a personal best in backstroke on Friday in the United States at the Texas Men Orange v White intra-squad meet.

The 2016 Rio Olympic champion in the 100m fly won the 100-yard back final in 46.29 seconds, ahead of Austin Katz (46.81sec) and Ryan Harty (47.07sec) at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Centre.

The 22-year-old University of Texas undergraduate's time is the fastest in the 2017/18 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) season - which started early last month - and is 0.99sec quicker than his previous best of 47.28sec set at the Texas Invitational in 2014.

Schooling, who has also won two World Championship bronze medals in the 100m fly (2015 and 2017), had stated on several occasions of his desire to expand his range and race in different strokes instead of specialising in the fly.

He was not available for comment yesterday. He had previously spoken of adding the 100m free and 200m individual medley to his list of events for the next Olympics.

Schooling, who won six golds at last month's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, also won the 50-yard free final in 19.32sec in the Orange v White meet, beating Brett Ringgold (19.79sec) and Tate Jackson (20.36sec).

Schooling's personal best in the 50-yard free is 18.76sec set at this year's Big 12 Championships in Austin.

The University of Texas undergraduate also finished first in the 200-yard fly in 1min 41.77sec, ahead of Sam Pomajevich (1:46.98) and Max Holter (1:48.69).

The Singaporean's fastest mark in this event is 1:37.97 set at the 2016 NCAA Division 1 Championships.

The Texas team's next competition is a double meet against Indiana and Florida in Gainesville from Oct 20 to 21.

Next year promises to be a busy one for Schooling, with the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in April and the Asian Games in Indonesia four months later.

Schooling won a silver in the 100m fly at the 2014 Commonwealth edition in Glasgow.

He won gold in the same event at the 2014 Asiad in Incheon, alongside a silver (50m fly) and bronze (200m fly) medal.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 01, 2017, with the headline 'PB for Schooling in 100-yard backstroke'. Print Edition | Subscribe