SINGAPORE – Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling believes he is “on the right track” after winning the 100m freestyle title at the Hancock Prospecting Short Course Championships on Thursday (Oct 24) in a national record of 48.05sec.
Schooling, who finished ahead of Zac Incerti (48.23) and Luke Gebbie (48.84) at Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, told The Straits Times: “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 record of 44.94sec was set back in 2008 by Amaury Leveaux of France.
Russian Vladimir Morozov’s 46.29sec at last Sunday’s International Swimming League meet in Lewisville, Texas in the United States is the world-leading time in 2019.
The previous national record was 48.11sec, set by Quah Zheng Wen at the 2015 Singapore National Short Course Swimming Championships.
While the performance was in the short course – instead of the traditional 50m long course format – and not in Schooling’s pet event the 100m butterfly, it will be a confidence boost for the 24-year-old Singaporean as he prepares for the SEA Games in the Philippines.
The Republic won 19 swimming golds at the 2017 SEA Games and 23 at the 2015 edition in Singapore.
The biennial Games are from Nov 30 to Dec 11 and Schooling will lead the team’s charge in the pool. He won six golds at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Games and nine titles at the 2015 edition on home soil.
Asked about his Games targets, however, Schooling said: “I’m not thinking of targets or events for the SEA Games right now. I’m concentrating on this meet and I’m excited to translate the learnings from the last few weeks into faster times in the pool.”