Friday, April 16

Singapore’s Joseph Schooling Wins Gold, Beating Phelps

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Then: A young Joseph Schooling with Michael Phelps before the 2008 Olympics. Now: The pair after their 100m butterfly heat in Rio.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE SCHOOLING FAMILY, REUTERS

Source: BBC

It isn’t every day you come face to face with your childhood idol – and defeat him in an Olympic swimming heat.


Michael Phelps, Chad Le Clos and Laszlo Cseh share the second step on the podium alongside Joseph Schooling. Image by Getty

Singapore’s Joseph Schooling competed against decorated US Olympian Michael Phelps in the qualifying heats for the Rio 2016 100m butterfly stroke semi-finals.

In his 100m butterfly semi-final, the national swimmer even clocked a personal best time of 50.83s, putting him in first place overall, with the fastest time in the event this year. The rest in the top five are László Cseh (50.86s), Michael Phelps (51.00s), Chad Le Clos (51.09s), and Tom Shields (51.20s).

Schooling made Singaporean history on Friday by becoming its first-ever male swimmer to qualify for an Olympic final.

“I feel fine. A little short on stroke but doesn’t really matter that much – it was all about posting a good enough time to get into top eight,” the 21-year-old Singaporean told reporters in Rio.

“I’m all about winning medals. I don’t care if I break the world record but I get silver or bronze – I still lost. It’s all about winning the gold.”

Image caption Schooling and Phelps swam next to each other, neck-to-neck, during the butterfly heat. Image by AFP


Reporting by the BBC’s Heather Chen in Singapore.