2016 Olympic champion Joseph Schooling is my kind of guy. Schooling let’s you know who he intends to beat and what records he wants to break. Sports drama ensues.
Currently Michael Phelps‘ 100m butterfly world record is in Schooling’s crosshairs, but that “could” take a backseat to Schooling vs Dressel butterfly hype at 2017 FINA World Championships. Frankly, I don’t know if Caeleb Dressel will even swim the race. 50m free conflicts with the 100m butterfly. At this point, if Dressel finals and improves on his 100 butterfly U.S. World Trials swim from Indy, 50.8, that’s a success in my book.
The pressure’s on Schooling, however. He’s on the record saying he wants Phelps’ 49.82 100m fly record from the 2009 World Championship in Rome–clocked in one of the greatest match-ups in history against Milorad Cavic. In all fairness to Schooling, the 100m fly world record is a massive goal–almost pie-in-sky. Phelps ripped that swim in a rubberized floatation techsuit. Listening to Schooling explain his ambitions, it’s simply the next logical step in his career.
While I’d love to see a world record 100m fly from Schooling in Budapest, I don’t think it’s realistic right now. Phelps’ 49.82 was top-of-the-water-floated via tech and nearly six tenths faster than Schooling’s personal best–.57 to be precise. Schooling’s PB is 50.39 flown in the finals of the 100 fly at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. If Schooling can shave any time off his 50.39, I think he wins. Moreover, following Olympic gold with a World Championship win is a step forward career-wise. If Schooling is feeling great, I’d love to see a 50.09, and that’s my prediction. It’s within range after his 50.9 unshaven 100 fly at ATX Sectionals. Conversely, I could see Schooling beating the field in 50.6, but I’m banking on fast final pushing Schooling’s to a PB.
What do you think it will take to win, and what do you think Schooling will clock?
This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.