2019 SEA Games: Schooling Successfully Defends 100 Fly Title


The very next day after coming up short in the 50m fly event, Joseph Schooling got atop the 100m fly podium to take his first individual 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold here in New Clark City, Philippines.

Yesterday, 24-year-old Schooling clocked a 50m fly time of 23.61 to miss out on gold by only .06. Taking the top prize was Singaporean teammate Tzen Wei Teong, who produced the mild upset with a winning effort of 23.55, a new lifetime best for the 22-year-old.

Flash forward to tonight, however, and Schooling was determined for redemption, gutting out the last 20m to get his hands on the wall just ahead of Quah Zheng Wen, another Singaporean teammate. Schooling touched in 51.84 to win by a fingernail, as Zheng Wen stopped the clock only .03 later in 51.87.

Schooling’s lifetime best rests at the 50.39 that earned him Olympic gold at the 2016 Games in Rio. It was at that same competition Zheng Wen earned his lifetime best of 52.08. However, with his performance here, Cal Bear Zheng Wen has now gotten under the 52-second threshold for the first time ever. Schooling owns the SEA Games Record with the 51.38 he put up for gold in 2017.

Both Schooling and Zheng Wen have qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games, with their respective outings dipping under the 51.96 FINA Olympic Qualifying Time (‘A’ Cut).

Speaking with reporters after the race, Schooling said, “I’d say 3 one-hundredths is pretty close.

“It’s always fun to get up and race each other … I don’t think I would have gone as fast as I did if I didn’t have this guy [Quah Zheng Wen] next to me. I knew I had to bring it tonight and I could have very easily gotten out-touched by him.

“Most important thing was to get that A cut,” said Schooling. “I’m happy to be able to accomplish what I set out to do tonight.”

“I just swam for myself and the people around and people that supported me,” he said.

“I think the longer you swim and the more exposed you get the more you realize that the people closest to you are the most important thing.”

Additional Winners:

  • Vietnamese Olympian Thi Anh Vien Nguyen doubled up on golds tonight, reaping the top prize in the women’s 200m free in 2:00.75, as well as the 200m back in a mark of 2:15.32. She won the latter race by over 2 seconds.
  • Malaysia’s Jinq En Phee, who competes for the Purdue Boilermakers in the NCAA, clocked a winning time of 31.40 to get the gold in a super close women’s 50m breast race. The top 3 finishers were separated by just .03. Her time is a new Malaysian national record.
  • Quah Zheng Wen was back in the pool two more times, first earning gold in the 200m back in an outing of 2:00.06, a new meet record. He was also a member of Singapore’s gold medal-worthy men’s 4x100m free relay. Along with Darren Chua, Jonathan Tan, and Joseph Schooling, Zheng Wen’s team punched a time of 3:16.82. That result fell less than a second off of the national record the same foursome put up in Gwangju at this year’s World Championships. Splits were not available at time of publishing.

Quotes courtesy of Channel News Asia.

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1 year ago

Lose some weight, Joe.

Reply to  Fairness
1 year ago

fat shaming? i thought we were better than this

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  malloc
1 year ago

Don’t worry, we still give out participation ribbons.

Reply to  Fairness
1 year ago

Hes got the lochte dad bod

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Dbswims
1 year ago

Yup, pretty much lol.

Reply to  Fairness
1 year ago

bulking season.

1 year ago

His back half was good compared to lane 4 but crazy how he has gone from winning gold in Rio to being relieved to make ‘A’ cut. Also, he appears to be in lochte shape

Mr Piano
1 year ago

51.8, much better than 52.9 at worlds. Maybe he’s putting in the work again.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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