Schooling: I Got My A** Handed to me


Singaporean Olympic champ Joseph Schooling battled with former Bolles teammate Caeleb Dressel of the USA in the men’s 100 fly final on Saturday night. It was their big showdown in the long course pool after Dressel took down Schooling’s record at the 2017 NCAA Championships and they became the first 2 NCAA swimmers to break 44 seconds in the yards pool. At Worlds, Dressel nearly broke Michael Phelps’ World Record, winning the title in 49.86 to become the first man in textile to break 50 seconds. Schooling tied for 3rd with Great Britain’s James Guy, touching in a time of 50.83. He was 2 tenths shy of the silver, which was taken by Hungary’s Kristof Milak with a new Junior World Record time of 50.62.

“I’m pissed! Obviously disappointed, you know, added half a second, had a long finish, I’m just glad to get a medal really at that point.”

“It just wasn’t clicking, you take a long a** time off, like you take half a year off, you come back in December, January and that’s what you’re going to get. Eddie’s (Reese) been warning me about this. But that shows, I got to learn the hard way, and I’m glad I got my a** kicked, there’s no other way to say that. I got my a** handed to me, and by my standards, that’s pretty unacceptable but it is what it is, hats off to him.”

Despite being disappointing in his own performance, Schooling was still congratulatory towards Dressel for his success in the event. Schooling is up to the challenge of competing against Dressel, and it could become the next great butterfly rivalry in the sport.

“That (Dressel’s swim) was phenomenal, there’s really no words to describe how fast that is. He just does 50m free and he had a bunch of events before, so that makes it even more impressive.”

“Yeah absolutely (he’s going to make me go faster), every sport needs someone to push each other. Michael had (Ian) Thorpe, (Milorad) Cavic all these guys pushing him, and you know, not comparing Caeleb and my rivalry to that, but this sets us up to have an exciting couple years going into Tokyo.”

Dressel also echoed that even with the rivalry in the pool, he and Schooling are very good friends.

“It’s (the rivalry) hardly been fierce, I love Joe-Joe,” he said. “I think it started this year at NCAAs and it’s always fun racing him as he always brings his ‘A’ game. Tonight was a blast and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years.”

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69 Comments on "Schooling: I Got My A** Handed to me"

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crooked donald

The final stage of grief.

Somebody has a bit of a potty mouth 🙃

Don’t worry. He only said that in practice.

Attila the Runt

Funny, how everyone jokes about THAT humblebrag, but pounces on the Crook below for pointing out another obvious one.

The legion of Schooling Fanboys is amazing. Like a virus, keeps spreading despite weakening of the host. Schooling generates more delusional fans the worse he gets.

Lol. Schooling has a whole country behind him so he already has over 5million fanboys. That amazing enough?

That was even worse lol. We’ve seen Schooling in the pool before than putting up decent in season time

Word has it that in practice, he can kick his OWN ass, but he finds it monotonous.

crooked donald
Now it’s “January.” At NCAAs it was “December.” Give him some time, and pretty soon he’ll say he didn’t train at all. If you didn’t put in the work, just shut up about it and take your licks, because you deserve it. Learn from Phelps. He didn’t comment on his poor training after LeClos ran him down on the last 50 of the 200 fly in London. You also didn’t see Phelps saying “I was so tired after all those events” after Schooling beat him in Rio. If you didn’t do the training, either say nothing or just say, “It’s obvious I’ll have to work harder.” It just diminishes the accomplishments of the guys (like James Guy, Malik) who actually… Read more »

Actually I seem to remember Phelps saying the reason he lost the 200 at London was down to him not being committed in training and he paid the price because of it. I don’t see anything wrong with Schoolings comments. He seems completely respectful to Dressel while acknowledging he needs to work harder.

crooked donald

He said that years later — not at the same meet in the interviews.

Attila the Runt

You’re right. In fact, Clary took tremendous heat for saying that Phelps hadn’t put in the work. Phelps didn’t comment on that until the run-up to Rio. He certainly didn’t do it the day after LeClos beat him.

After he won 100 fly in London 51.21 he was interviewed, and said that if he wanted to go faster he should have put in more work.

Absolutely. Didn’t admit it until after his second DUI.

The timing doesn’t matter. If you believe it’s disrespectful, then it’s disrespectful.

Are you kidding? He talked ad nauseam about how little he’d been training after practically every race between 2010 and 2012.

He’s not blaming Eddie’s taper, or saying he was sick right before. He admits he lost because he didn’t do enough hard work, says his coach warned him, and blames his own lack of preparation. That is called taking ownership of your failures, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. In fact, admitting that is pretty admirable. I wish more of my swimmers would do so when they don’t meet their goals.

crooked donald

Yeah, you hit the obvious points, but he ends with the absurd Phelps comparison, which was his denial/non-denial (not saying we’re Phelps-Cavic, but I’ll mention that anyway since I beat him). It’s not Phelps-Cavic, because Phelps never had Cavic by a half-second. Never had him by more than a tenth. A half-second difference in a 100 fly is not a rivalry. He makes it sound like if he had done the work, he would have been right there at the touch, having dropped a half-second from Rio. And that, my friend, is just delusional.


Joseph Schooling is an Olympic champion and Olympic record holder individually, beating out the biggest names in the 100 fly over the past decade. Dressel has not done that. Dressel had one of the most insane individual performances at a WC we have ever seen, and the burden is on him to do it again for the years to come and at the Olympics. The pressure is way more intense at the Olympics and it’s harder to have meets like the one Dressel just had (note Ryan lochte), so let’s just appreciate the talents of Dressel and Schooling and what they’ve accomplished. This was eye opening for schooling and I’m sure he learned his lesson about taking time off. Also,… Read more »

Don’t do that. You’re diminishing Dressel’s accomplishments. He didn’t contest the 100fly in Rio. He swam the prelims at trials and scratched. Who knows if he would have qualified and then had a pb in Rio. The fact is this is the first showdown on the world stage, and Dressel won. End of story!

I stopped reading at “who knows if he would have”

I’m not diminishing his accomplishments, I am just saying that the stakes are raised at the Olympics. Dressel needs to do this on a year to year basis and beat Schooling at the Olympics. Crocker beat Phelps quite a bit outside of the Olympics, and broke the WR Phelps had set. But Phelps ALWAYS won at the Olympics. I’m sorry, but if Schooling gets it together and wins in Tokyo, people are going to think of Schooling as the better butterflier.

And they will be wrong.

Agree. He will bounce back for sure. Next year onwards, he will not be a pushover.

Attila the Runt

I think the point is Schooling’s “honesty” betrays propensity to “humblebrag.” The post-NCAA interview with Conger there when all he did was talk about his lack of preparation. The famous “practice” swim. The “monotonous” 50.9 unshaved. And here the “not saying we’re like Phelps-Cavic, but we are.” He’s got a half-second to drop to even be in the same conversation as Dressel at this point. So I get Crooked Donald’s point.

Yep. Conger had that look on his face like, “Geez, I finally win one (and break his record), and all we’re talking about is Joe and his excuses.”

Samuel Huntington

Your hate of Schooling doesn’t seem healthy. He admits he didn’t put in the work and got crushed. Honest and refreshing to hear.

crooked donald

It’s not hate. His comments about his lack of preparation are disrespectful to other competitors. He did the same thing with Conger sitting right next to him after NCAAs. Instead of the interview being about Conger finally getting the monkey off his back and getting an NCAA win and breaking Schooling’s record, it was about how Schooling hadn’t prepared enough. You can call it honest and refreshing, but it diminishes the accomplishments of others who did the work and deserve the credit. He does the denial-nondenial thing that certain politicians do: I’ll compare myself to Phelps, but I’m not.

Samuel Huntington

Schooling on Dressel “that swim was phenomenal”. Not sure where the disrespect is.

crooked donald

Making it sound like it’s a Phelps-Cavic. The difference there was 0.1 sec or less in their races. This is a half-second difference with Schooling at his best, if he ever hits that again. Schooling shouldn’t even call it a rivalry.

Exactly. He is the master of the humblebrag. You should read some of his interviews with the Singapore news.

crooked donald

“that swim was phenomenol” and just like Phelps-Cavic, I could have done that 49.8, too, if I just hadn’t taken time off. Delusional and disrespectful. You have to read the entire context. He does it all the time. The humblebrag.


You got your opinion of it and unfortunately there’s nothing anyone else can do to change it.

Attila the Runt

Hate to say it, but I agree with Crooked Donald. Schooling doesn’t get that he’s no longer in the conversation for best 100 flyer. Giving up a half-second even if he hit his best time to a guy who’s improving instead of regressing is not exactly a rivalry.

Yes, it was a brief reign. Wonder if years from now, Schooling will be one of those Olympic champs that are sort of an outlier.

Is it even fair to call him a potential outlier when he’s medaled in this event at 3 straight world meets: 2015-2017, the only swimmer to do so. AND the year before in 2014 was the silver medalist at the commonwealth games and gold medalist at the asian games.

Not directed at you, but I really dont understand the hate here for him. Whenever he proclaims he wants to do well,he’s seen as arrogant. When he doesnt do as well, everyone is out for blood. He’s not the only OG gold medalist to fail to win gold this time round but yet no one slams about any of the other ones, but him.

You do realize that we are on an article about Dressel who, other than this meet, has done nothing individually on the big stage. Is there any reason to suggest he won’t continue his success? No. But before we crown dressel the sprinting/butterfly GOAT, we need to see this from him on a year-year basis. Hes way more of an outlier than Schooling at this point

If world championships aren’t big stage then I guess nothing is.

I have to agree to. Schooling has been talking a big game about that WR but also preemptively excusing himself for not breaking it. If you seriously believe that Schooling took 6 months off, started training in January, went 44.0 and 18.7 at Big 12s on a less than 2 months of training, and then 43.7 on less than 3 months of training….boy do I have a bridge to sell you. Sure he wasn’t as intense in training as the leaduo to Rio, but he was doing solid training atleast beginning in October. The Texas/NC state dual meet results in november prove it. He is over exaggerating the break he took to make himself feel better, and in doing so… Read more »
crooked donald

You articulated it much better than I. It’s the trying to have it both ways — look at me, I have Phelps WR in sight, but just in case I fall flat on my face, I didn’t train either. And the not training period has just grown with each interview. To add to PVDH’s point, Schooling did a 1:45.82 200 fly at the beginning of November against NC State, and a 1:41 at Big 12s at the end of February. He didn’t just start training in December or January. That’s the essence of the humblebrag.

Samuel Huntington

You’re just not understanding it at all. I’m done here.



I’m sorry I don’t buy this honesty. Don’t talk about taking down a WR or practice swim if you haven’t put in the work.

He didn’t say it immediately because he didn’t want people to know he’d been screwing around before London. However later on he fessed up. That was the reason he came back for Rio. We heard that in a billion interviews

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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