Swimming: Schooling confident of two-gold haul

Joseph Schooling powering his way to the 100m butterfly bronze at the 2015 world championships. He is confident of triumphing in both the 50m and 100m fly events in Hungary this month.
Joseph Schooling powering his way to the 100m butterfly bronze at the 2015 world championships. He is confident of triumphing in both the 50m and 100m fly events in Hungary this month.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Olympic champion aiming to win 50m, 100m butterfly double at world c'ships in Budapest

Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling has declared he also wants to be known as a double world champion.

The 22-year-old has boldly revealed his intention of winning both the 50m and 100m butterfly golds at this month's world championships in Hungary.

The reigning Olympic 100m fly champion said previously that his target at the July 14-30 meet in Budapest was to win multiple medals but upped the ante yesterday in a conference call from Texas.

He said: "I think in both of them I have equal chances of winning. You never know what's going to happen. Something could go wrong real fast and things can change. I think I'm confident that I'm not going to make those mistakes.

"I'm confident of winning the 50m and 100m fly."

The University of Texas undergraduate will also swim in the 200m fly and 100m freestyle events.

He clocked 50.39 seconds en route to victory at last year's Rio Olympics, becoming the third fastest swimmer in the event's history. He has set his sights on breaking Michael Phelps' world record of 49.82sec during the upcoming world championships.

MOTIVATING FACTOR

He (Caeleb Dressel) wants to beat me and I want to beat him. It's great motivation for me. They're all good rivals. It's going to be a fight for sure and I'm looking forward to that.

JOSEPH SCHOOLING, looking forward to this month's world championships.

Among those offering stiff competition is his former Bolles School team-mate Caeleb Dressel, 20, who has been hailed as the future of American swimming.

Dressel took on Schooling in the 50-yard free and 100-yard fly at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in March and triumphed in both races.

In the 100-yard fly, defending champion Schooling was dethroned after Dressel posted a new NCAA, US Open, and American record to win the race in 43.58sec. Schooling clocked 43.75sec.

The University of Florida swimmer is a former junior world champion and the only man with a sub-51sec time in the 100m fly this year after he clocked 50.87sec at the US national championships last week. Schooling sits 13th fastest in the world this year after he clocked 51.82sec at last month's Texas Senior Circuit meet.

There is also 2012 Olympic 200m fly champion Chad le Clos, who has this season's second-fastest time following his 51.29sec set at April's South Africa National Championships.

Schooling, who finished third in the 100m fly at the 2015 world championships in Russia, said: "He (Dressel) wants to beat me and I want to beat him. It's great motivation for me.

"They're all good rivals. It's going to be a fight for sure and I'm looking forward to that. I don't like things being given to me and I like people putting up a fight."

Singapore's other representative at the Fina meet is Quah Zheng Wen, who will compete in the 50m, 100m and 200m fly as well as the 50m and 100m backstroke events.

Quah won a silver in the 200-yard fly at the NCAA, a meet where a sick Schooling admitted he had a disappointing outing after failing to win an individual title.

His mindset has changed since then, he said.

"I was tired of being sloppy and I was tired of losing," he said.

"You got to do something about it. With me hating to lose and knowing that I want to win, I had to put in a lot of work. And that's what happened.

"I don't know how fast he (Dressel) can go. All I can do is prepare the best I can and swim the best I can. I'm not worried about how fast he can go."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2017, with the headline 'Two-gold target: Schooling'. Print Edition | Subscribe