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.”
Reporting by the BBC’s Heather Chen in Singapore.