SINGAPORE - Joseph Schooling preferred to focus on the positives as he closed his Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships with a sixth-placed finish in the 100m fly event on Saturday afternoon (Oct 26).
Schooling finished in 52.36 seconds at Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, behind winner David Morgan (51.06s) and four others.
Saturday's race proved a muted end for Schooling in a meet where he had won gold in the 100m freestyle on Thursday and 50m fly on Friday, setting a national record in the former.
Said the 24-year-old: "I am a little disappointed to not make the podium today but overall I am pleased with what I've set out to achieve at this stage of my preparations.
"I've seen the gains in the pool and that's reflected in my and the team's performance this week in Melbourne.
"It is all positive and we will continue to build on what we've achieved here and to continue to work towards our goals and to continue to believe."
On Thursday, Schooling said he felt he was "on the right track", as he gears up for the Nov 30-Dec 11 SEA Games in the Philippines.
At July's long-course world championships in Gwangju, South Korea, he placed 24th and did not make it out of the 100m fly heats, failing to retain the bronze he won in the previous two editions.
For the biennial SEA Games in the Philippines, which also serves as a qualifying meet for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, 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 tally of 23 golds from four Games since Jakarta 2011.
There was joy for another of the Republic's swimmers on Saturday, as Teong Tzen Wei set a national record in the men's 50m freestyle.
He clinched gold in 21.41sec, ahead of Ash Brinkworth (21.93) and Grayson Bell (21.98). Teong's time bettered his previous mark of 21.72, set at the 2018 Fina World Cup in Singapore.
Teong, 22, had won a silver in the 50m fly event on Friday, sharing the podium with Schooling.