Sporting Life

World records are proof of the best of humankind

Not everyone gets there, but adventure lies in chasing a feat never before accomplished

Ancient men painted their lives on the walls of caves and modern humans inscribe their dreams on urban dwellings. On the walls of Joseph Schooling's flat is pasted his ambition and, for a man who lives by the clock, it is appropriately a number. It is the 100m butterfly world record.

"I have the timing I need to beat printed and stuck to the wall in places around the house," said Schooling. "They serve as a reminder to me. I see it when I wake up for my early training sessions, I see it when I am resting in between training sessions. I see it when I'm relaxing, reading and watching TV. I know what I need and want to do."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2019, with the headline 'World records are proof of the best of humankind'. Print Edition | Subscribe