The past 24 hours have seen a seismic-like shift in the men’s butterfly, and 20 year-old Joseph Schooling of Singapore did his part in this shift by breaking the Asian Record in the 100 fly in the finals of the 2015 World Aquatics Championships this evening in Kazan, Record.
Roughly an hour after Jack Conger, the other star pupil at Professor
Charles Xavier’s Eddie Reese’s School for Gifted Youngsters Butterfliers, took the top seed in the preliminaries of the USA Summer Nationals with a time of 51.97, Schooling took the bronze medal in the 100 fly here in Kazan with a time of 50.96.
With that swim, it appears that Schooling joins this evening’s gold medalist, Chad le Clos, and silver medalist, Laszlo Cseh, along with Michael Phelps and Ian Crocker, as the only men to crack 51.0 in textile.
The Asian Record previously belonged to Kohei Kawamoto of Japan, who swam 51.00 at the Japanese National Sports Festival in 2009.
According to interviews, Conger and Schooling are good friends outside of the pool, but fierce competitors within the pool, and Schooling had to take note of Conger’s 1:54.45 in the 200 fly last night in San Antonio, which was over a second faster than Schooling’s personal best, a 1:55.73 he swam at this year’s Southeast Asian Games.
Undoubtedly Conger, who will be swimming alongside Michael Phelps again this evening, will be aiming to also crack 51.00 as Conger and Schooling continue their friendly rivalry. Conger finished second to Schooling in both the 100 fly and 200 fly at this year’s NCAA championships as both played crucial roles in leading the Texas Longhorns to victory.
Schooling has been a rising start in the butterfly events for years, having emerged years ago while training at the Bolles School in Florida, under Sergio Lopez, who is now Singapore’s head coach.