Swimming: Schooling shows promise with 100m freestyle result in Australia

Olympic champion Joseph Schooling will lead Singapore's charge in the pool at the SEA Games in the Philippines. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Olympic champion Joseph Schooling will lead Singapore's charge in the pool at the SEA Games in the Philippines. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Singapore swim ace gears up for SEA Games with national 100m free short-course record

Joseph Schooling believes he is "on the right track" after winning the 100m freestyle title at the Hancock Prospecting Short Course Championships yesterday in a Singapore record of 48.05 seconds.

The Olympic 100m butterfly champion, who finished ahead of Zac Incerti (48.23) and Luke Gebbie (48.84) at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, said: "We have been away on a training camp for the last three weeks and the time away has been fruitful.

"I sat down with my coaching team before we left. We took stock of my last few races and identified areas we need to work on.

"And I think we are starting to see some results. It's a good start today and it's encouraging."

The world mark is 44.94 by France's Amaury Leveaux in 2008.

The previous national mark of 48.11 was set by Quah Zheng Wen at the 2015 Singapore National Short Course Swimming Championships.

While the performance was made in the short course - instead of the traditional long-course format - and not in Schooling's pet butterfly stroke, it was still a boost for the 24-year-old ahead of the Nov 30-Dec 11 SEA Games.

At July's world championships in Gwangju, South Korea, he was 24th and did not even make it out of the 100m fly heats, thus failing to retain the bronze he won in the previous two editions.

For the biennial SEA Games in the Philippines, Schooling will lead Singapore's charge for medals in the pool at the New Clark City Sports Hub.

He will be gunning to add to his total tally of 22 golds from four Games since Jakarta 2011.

Asked about his targets for the Games, he said: "I'm not thinking of targets or events for the SEA Games right now.

WORK IN PROGRESS

I'm concentrating on this meet and I'm excited to translate the learning from the last few weeks into faster times in the pool.

JOSEPH SCHOOLING, 100m fly gold medallist at the 2016 Olympics, on his preparations for the upcoming SEA Games.

"I'm concentrating on this meet and I'm excited to translate the learning from the last few weeks into faster times in the pool."

The Melbourne meet ends tomorrow, with Schooling due to compete in other events even though he has yet to confirm his schedule.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'Schooling shows promise'. Print Edition | Subscribe