Swimming: Schooling second in 100m fly but pleased with fastest time in two years

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SINGAPORE – After clocking 52.09 seconds to complete second in the 100m butterfly on the SNAG Major Games Qualifier on Thursday (March 17) night, Joseph Schooling got here out of the pool smiling.

It could have been over a second slower than the 51.04sec that gained him gold on the 2018 Asian Games, but it was nonetheless the quickest he had gone in the occasion in over two years.

His effort on the OCBC Aquatic Centre was additionally sufficient to satisfy the ‘A’ cuts for this yr’s Asiad (53sec) and Commonwealth Games (53.11sec). He was joined by race winner Teong Tzen Wei (52.04sec), Quah Zheng Wen (52.86) and Ong Jung Yi (52.93), third and fourth respectively.

“It feels good. My main goal for this was to make Asian Games,” stated Schooling, who’s aiming to retain his 50m and 100m fly titles in Hangzhou. “Without Tzen Wei next to me, I don’t think I could have gotten 52, it’s way faster than I was at the Olympics.”

At Tokyo 2020, Schooling didn’t defend his 100m fly crown. He was final in his heats in 53.12sec and ranked forty fourth out of 55 swimmers.

That was his final aggressive outing. The 26-year-old, who enlisted in nationwide service in January, was glad to be again racing, saying: “I’m pretty surprised – I was hurting towards the last 15, trying to get my hand on the wall first, but to be separated by 0.05sec in this current state, I think looking forward to SEA Games and Asian Games is going to be quite exciting. It’s given me a renewed amount of excitement and I couldn’t ask for more.”

Teong, a two-time SEA Games champion (50m freestyle, 50m fly), was content material with notching two private bests on Thursday, though he had hoped to go beneath 52 seconds.

The 24-year-old stated: “I’ve solely been swimming this occasion for perhaps 1 ½ years… I might say I’m a rookie in phrases of this occasion so I’m fairly glad to carry myself up in opposition to two Olympians (Schooling and Quah).

“I’ve at all times been categorised as a sprinter and at all times doing properly in 50s, so it’s at all times been my purpose to maneuver in direction of the 100m as a result of that’s the place I can doubtlessly go for a relays so I’m glad.

“For me, it’s just to try my best because if you keep chasing positions, you will be very disappointed as you can’t win every day, you can just try to be the best you can be on the day itself. Today, I’m the best I’ve ever been in my life so I have to take that and move on.”

National head coach Gary Tan was inspired by his expenses performances. He stated: “I’m very glad with Joseph. I lastly noticed an excellent struggle from him, and coming into this meet, we are able to see that burning want to make an influence in the race.

“Kudos also to Tzen Wei, he also did a really good swim and probably helped pull Joseph along as well as the other two – Zheng Wen and Jung Yi. To me, it goes to show that Singapore swimming even though it had a big hump in 2021 from the Olympic Games, this race has given me a good feeling that there are guys stepping up.”

Reagan Cheng, 13, on Thursday additionally rewrote the nationwide boys’ Under-14 information in the lads’s 200m backstroke twice. He bettered his earlier nationwide file of 2min 9.97sec with a time of two:09.89 in the morning heats, earlier than setting a brand new file of two:09.05 in the ultimate.

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