The 2022 Southeast Asian Games are nearly upon us, with the swimming competition set to begin on Saturday, May 14th.
Although one of the most successful swimmers in the history of the biennial competition, Singaporean Joseph Schooling, is set to race, the former Texas Longhorn has alluded to this year’s event as most likely being his last.
Part of his decision stems from where he’s at in his aquatic career, while his national military service (NS) obligations are also coming into play.
“I’m going to be 27 this year, and there are a lot of things outside the pool that I’ll want to move on to after I’m done swimming,” he told Yahoo News Singapore.
“Right now the question is, ‘Okay, do I still want to do Paris? Or do I stop and reassess where I want to go after the Asian Games?’ The Asian Games are on the calendar for mid-September.
“Also, how do I balance what I need to do NS-wise and getting the training I need? Because if this schedule persists, I don’t think I can make it to 2024 in Paris.”
Schooling took the men’s 100m fly gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and enjoyed home country hero status since.
Back in the pool, however, the butterfly specialist’s performances haven’t been able to capture the same magic. Schooling placed 24th in the 100m fly at the 2019 World Championships followed by a 44th place finish at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Specific to the Southeast Asian Games (SEA), Schooling has amassed 31 medals across 5 appearances, with his debut having come at the 2011 edition in Palembang, Indonesia. There, the then-16-year-old Schooling took two golds, a silver and bronze as a preview of things to come just 5 years later in Rio.
So far this season, Schooling has put up a solid effort of 52.09 at the Singapore National Qualifier meet last month, a time which easily beat out the 53.12 he put up in Tokyo.
Looking ahead to the SEA Games, Schooling said, “My team and I have worked ourselves into a spot where I can say I should be winning my events. The key now is to enjoy what I am working for.
“I’ve always enjoyed representing Singapore at the SEA Games, and this SEA Games being possibly my last will make it even more special. I won’t take anything for granted, and I’m going to appreciate whatever is going to happen.”
I don’t know why people hate him. He was also a greatest athlete in history, even beating Phelps…
From what I’ve read, Schooling will only be participating in the SEA Games and Asian Games this year, and not the Commonwealth Games / World Championships as he doesn’t believe his current schedule of juggling training and military service would enable him to peak 4 times in a year.
Most people also don’t realise that he has had a very difficult 2021, finding out his dad had cancer a couple of months before Tokyo and that his dad then subsequently passed on a few months after Tokyo. While I’m not trying to find excuses for his poor showing in Tokyo, I also find it difficult to read so many comments lambasting his performance without fully understanding the context of the… Read more »
No one cares. He should have retired after he peaked in Rio.
You don’t care about it doesn’t mean other don’t care about it .You don’t represent all swimming fans.Waht a noob words
I’d love to see him go out with a bang sort of like Cameron van-der burgh did at the end of 2018.
Bro just needs to retire now
I wonder if he is going to the Commonwealth Games?
He’ll come running back when he gets pissed at going faster in practice than Dressel’s times at Nationals this week.
thank god 😜🤞
People seem to forget that he beat Michael Phelps, in the 100 FLY, at the Olympics. He earned respect.
doesn’t mean i can’t root for him to retire 😙🤞
A lot of Americans have hated him for it ever since. It’s really quite pathetic.
Same reason why Titmus gets so many snide comments here
Phelps’ 51.14 finals time would have gotten 8th place in Tokyo. Schooling didn’t have any real competition in that race, just a bunch of aging swimmers far off their PBs.
Rude as hell for what reason.
bc I’m a hater <3