Schooling Wins 100 Fly At Singapore Champs, Hints At Dropping 200 Fly Internationally

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Olympic champion Joseph Schooling made his return to the long course pool for the first time since last summer’s World Championships, winning the 100 butterfly in today’s session of the Singapore National Swimming Championships.

Notably, Schooling also indicated that he may be dropping the 200 butterfly from his event schedule ahead of the upcoming Asian Games, according to an article that appeared in The Strait Times.

Schooling took home the gold in the 100 fly in 52.43, beating out Australians Matthew Temple (52.59) and Bowen Gough (53.20) in his first official race since turning pro. While Schooling commented in the article that he would “like to be a bit faster,” he also acknowledged he was in hard training and that this race was a chance to dust off the cobwebs.

In the article, Schooling also hinted that he may be dropping the 200 butterfly from his event schedule. The 23-year old explained the decision partly as an evolution of his career, saying “I am comfortable focusing on the shorter races. Sometimes you just have to transition, that is how the career goes. Michael (Phelps) stopped the 400m IM (individual medley) when he got older, and sometimes it’s just what you need to do.”

Schooling is the national record holder in the event for Singapore with a 1:55.73 from the 2015 Southeast Asia Games, and was a bronze medalist in the event at the 2014 Asian Games. In fact, the event was what qualified him for his first Olympic Games in 2012, although he has in recent years elected to skip the event at international competition.

He was slated to compete in the event at the 2016 Olympics and last summer’s World Championships but ultimately decided to bypass the event both times. And despite breaking the NCAA and US Open record in the 200 yard butterfly at NCAA’s his sophomore year, the former Texas swimmer has failed to make top-16 in the event at the National Championships the last two seasons competing for the Longhorns.

The Strait Times does note that even without the 200 fly Schooling will be competing in five to six events during the upcoming Asian Games, including the 50 and 100 fly, the 100 free, the 4×100 free and 4×100 medley relays, and potentially the 200 free.

The Strait Times contributed to the report.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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