Sporting Life

Why looking to the past may make sense for Joseph Schooling

Joseph Schooling, whose form has been patchy since last year, is returning to the US to train with coach Sergio Lopez, whom he has known since he was 14, in a bid to revive his flagging Olympic title defence.
Joseph Schooling, whose form has been patchy since last year, is returning to the US to train with coach Sergio Lopez, whom he has known since he was 14, in a bid to revive his flagging Olympic title defence. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - There was no butterfly stroke in the time of Socrates, but the thoughtful Greek would have approved of what Joseph Schooling is doing. "We cannot live better," wrote the philosopher, "than in seeking to become better."

To re-find their equilibrium, athletes relocate countries, hire gurus who believe in long hugs or take an unusually lovely route. At the 2002 Australian Open, Marat Safin's coaching box was filled with rather winsome young ladies. "You have to admit," he said then, "that I have an unbelievably beautiful bench."

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