Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
It’s fast becoming one of swimming’s most fun rivalries.
Where King-vs-Efimova centers around a topic that’s perhaps too serious and impassioned to be fun and Park-vs-Sun kind of died off in a hurry, the budding Joseph Schooling–Caeleb Dressel rivalry is fast becoming the most fun rivalry in the sport.
Schooling and Dressel were club teammates with the Bolles School Sharks. They traded a national high school record back and forth in the 100 fly over their high school careers, and were ranked as #1A and #1B in their NCAA recruiting class back in 2013. They were co-NCAA Swimmers of the Year in 2016, and put together one of the most exciting races of the year in 2017, with Dressel upsetting Schooling for the national 100 fly title.
Now, the two are trading statement swims heading into the World Championships in that same event. Dressel won U.S. Nationals a few weeks back, going 50.87 to rocket to the #1 ranking worldwide. Schooling, never a shy presence in the media, responded soon after with a claim that he had gone 50.7 in practice the day after Dressel’s swim.
While that claim felt to some like a friendly (perhaps joking) jab at his former teammate, Schooling backed up his words with a 50.96 at Austin Sectionals on Saturday night.
The defending Olympic champ in the event, Schooling originally made his name internationally by knocking off the legendary Michael Phelps at the end of the Rio Olympics. Primarily a butterflier, Schooling is not only Singapore’s best swimmer (and first Olympic gold medalist in any sport) but also the best in all of Southeast Asia. (He won 9 gold medals at the 2015 Southeast Asia Games and has 17 total golds from the 2011, 2013 and 2015 editions of the event).
Primarily a butterflier, he’ll take on the converted sprint freestyler Dressel. And after Schooling’s massive swim over the weekend (with his full taper still coming), that race should be one of the most-hyped of the 2017 World Championships.
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