In Good Conscience

The free-flowering magic of Schooling, Smith and Ibrahimovic

Australian batsman Steve Smith (in action against England in the first Ashes Test on Aug 1 at Edgbaston, Birmingham) is obsessive and quirky. Before every ball, he twitches, fidgets and tucks at his apparel like a bear scratching himself.
Australian batsman Steve Smith (in action against England in the first Ashes Test on Aug 1 at Edgbaston, Birmingham) is obsessive and quirky. Before every ball, he twitches, fidgets and tucks at his apparel like a bear scratching himself. PHOTO: REUTERS

Whoever created and named an orchid Dendrobium Joseph Schooling, describing it as "a robust and free-flowering hybrid" was onto something.

Many people have tried to analyse and explain Schooling's pre-eminence in the pool, and even his own mother, May, suggested that 10 per cent of it is talent, the rest is hard graft and training.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2019, with the headline 'The free-flowering magic of Schooling, Smith and Ibrahimovic'. Subscribe