Video courtesy of The Olympic Channel.
It’s been 2 years since Singaporean Joseph Schooling shocked the world by beating American icon Michael Phelps for Olympic gold in the men’s 100m butterfly race. Schooling rocked a monster personal best of 50.39 in Rio to break the previous Olympic Record of 50.58 set by Phelps back in Beijing.
Also monumental in the Rio race was the fact that there was a 3-way tie among Phelps and 2 of his biggest international rivals in South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh. All 3 men touched in 51.14 for silver, giving Schooling the largest margin of victory in the men’s 100m fly since Mark Spitze won the race at the 1972 Olympics.
Although Schooling’s gold brought him the biggest monetary Olympic bonus in the world, the now-23-year-old former Texas Longhorn swimmer has struggled to find his form since Rio. He settled for bronze in Budapest in the 100m fly event behind former Bolles teammate Caeleb Dressel and Hungary’s rising star Kristof Milak, while he has dropped the 200m fly race all together.
Within NCAA action as a Longhorn, although Schooling proved to be a crucial relay member in his final 2 years, the Singaporean was unable to reproduce his individual titles from 2015 and 2016 when he won both the 100m and 200m fly events in back-to-back championships.
Nevertheless, Schooling now says he is back to his ‘fighting weight’ is ‘excited to feel his Rio stroke again.’ (The New Paper) With that in mind, all eyes will be on the Asian superstar as he battles against the likes of China’s Li Zhuhao and Japan’s Yuki Kobori in his pet 100m fly event Jakarta this week.
Schooling is also expected to race the 100m free and 50m fly, in addition to relays.