Swimming: Schooling confident ahead of Rio

Joseph Schooling gestures after winning the men's 50m butterfly during the 28th SEA Games.
Joseph Schooling gestures after winning the men's 50m butterfly during the 28th SEA Games.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Singapore swim star Joseph Schooling will no longer be an underdog at August's Olympic Games, after his record-breaking swims at last week's NCAA Division 1 Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.

The 20-year-old Singaporean broke the meet record when he won gold in the 100 (44.01sec) and 200-yard (1min 37.97sec) butterfly races at the event in Atlanta.

Schooling said he is in the best shape leading up to the Olympics. The University of Texas sophomore student said: "This is a good meet to show everyone, myself where I am at. I have best times by pretty big margins, I hope it all translates well for this coming Summer."

"I'm getting best times. I'm headed in the right direction. I think I'm ready and I'm in good shape. Right now, it's about getting to the Olympics and keeping my head (focus).

"I don't think winning (an Olympic medal) is a ridiculous dream."

Schooling will stay in the United States, and from there, he will head to Brazil at the end of July.

He has qualified for the 100m free, 100m and 200m fly events. But he will likely be competing in either the 100m free or 200m fly.

Said Schooling: "It'll be either one. I think it's going to be a toss-up between the 200m fly and 100m free, seeing how well I did in the free. I've always focused on the 100m fly in the past few years, but right now I'm fit enough to take on the 200m fly again."

But the swimmer admitted that he could go even faster from now till the Olympics.

He said: "I should have done better in my turns. That almost cost me in my (200-yard fly) race. I was little worried about (my fitness) on how I would be in the end... I struggled a little bit. I've got to be the fittest I've ever been... to get ready for the Olympics."