Swimming: Schooling wary of Dressel threat ahead of this month's world championships

Joseph Schooling (left) says he has no fear of facing Caeleb Dressel, who is his former Bolles School teammate.
Joseph Schooling (left) says he has no fear of facing Caeleb Dressel, who is his former Bolles School teammate.PHOTO: AFP, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

SINGAPORE - Joseph Schooling knows who Caeleb Dressel is and has no fears of facing his former Bolles School teammate in his quest for medals at this month's world championships in Hungary.

In fact, their growing rivalry will act as motivation, said the Singaporean and Olympic 100m butterfly champion in a conference call on Wednesday (July 5).

Schooling, 22, said: "He 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 out for that. I don't like things being given to me and I like the fight."

The 20-year-old Dressel, who is being hailed as the future of American swimming, went head-to-head against Schooling in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in March.

 
 

Dressel won both races and in the 100-yard fly, defending champion Schooling was dethroned by Dressel - who posted a new NCAA, US Open, and American record to win the race in 43.58sec to Schooling's 43.75sec.

The University of Florida swimmer is a former junior world champion and is the only man to have gone under 51sec in the 100m butterfly this year when he hit 50.87sec at the Summer National Championships last week.

Schooling sits 13th fastest in the world this year after his 51.82 Texas Senior Circuit Invite last month.

Just like Schooling, Dressel also secured his first Olympic gold medal in last year's Rio Games, albeit not in an individual event but in the 4×100m freestyle relay.

But to Schooling, these stats will not matter when he arrives in Hungary to swim in the 50m, 100m and 200m fly, as well as the 100m freestyle events at the world championships.

He had clinched the 100m fly bronze at the last edition in 2015 and told The Straits Times in May that he is confident of capturing more than one medal at the upcoming July 14-30 meet in Budapest.

Schooling said: "The confidence is coming from my training. I got a couple more training under my belt (after the NCAA).

"I just got to ride my momentum through and I believe I have a good shot at it."

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