Schooling Looks To Possibly Last Southeast Asian Games Starting May 14th


The 31st edition of the Southeast Asian Games features 40 sports across 526 events and counts on the participation of 5,467 athletes from 11 different nations.

Among them is the only man to have beaten American icon Michael Phelps at the 2016 Olympic Games, Joseph Schooling.

Hailing from Singapore, the 26-year old Schooling has alluded that this year’s SEA Games may indeed be his last with the 26-year-old saying last month, “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. 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.”

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.

The 2019 edition of the Southeast Asian Games saw Schooling’s home nation of Singapore soar to the top of the overall swimming medal table, bringing 37 pieces of hardware back home.

Of that significant total, Singapore bagged 23 golds, 10 silvers and 4 bronze to separate themselves from runner-up Vietnam who collected 25 medals in all.

As runners-up in the 2019 medal table the nation of Vietnam is sending a 32-strong lineup to Hanoi. The federation has said it aims to win 6-8 gold medals across the 40 events.

Nguyen Huy Hoang will try to defend his 400m free and 1500m free gold medals from 2019 and Tran Hung Nguyen will try to match his 200m IM/400m IM double gold.

As for the women, Vietnam will be without multi-Southeast Asian Games champion Nguyen Thi Anh Vien.

The 25-year-old stated earlier this year, “I will not compete at the coming SEA Games because I am incapable now and my health is not as good as it was to achieve good results…”

The Philippines, who finished 5th in the medal table at the previous edition of the Southeast Asian Games, will be without one of its key contenders.

Luke Gebbie has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to compete. The 25-year-old Filipino took SEA Games silver in the men’s 4x100m free relay and also individual bronze in the 50m freestyle 3 years ago.

2019 SEA Games – Swimming Medals Table

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Singapore 23 10 4 37
2  Vietnam 10 6 9 25
3  Malaysia 2 2 3 7
4  Thailand 1 8 6 15
5  Philippines* 1 6 9 16
6  Indonesia 1 6 7 14
Totals (6 nations) 38 38 38 114



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Texas A&M Swim Fan
6 months ago

Haven’t kept up much with Schooling after he beat Phelps in 2016 but seems/ feels that he just “fell off the radar” since then so not surprised he’s looking to “hang it up” soon.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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