Singapore’s Joseph Schooling was pleased with his performance in the 100m freestyle at the Olympics on Tuesday night even though he missed out on the opportunity to make history.
Schooling finished with a time of 48.7 seconds to come eighth in his 100m freestyle semi-final and 16th overall. With only the top eight swimmers progressing to the final, Schooling was unable to become the first male Singaporean athlete to reach the final of a swimming event at the Olympics.
While the 21-year-old will no doubt be disappointed not to qualify for the final, he was delighted to have shattered his own national freestyle record when he clocked 48.27s to book his spot in the semi-finals.
“You just get nerves out, I think that’s the biggest thing. I swam a prelim swim, I swam a night swim,” he told The Strait Times. “I know what the atmosphere is like, I know how I need to feel, how I need to adjust my body. There’s a lot of things I learnt today.
“I think I’m off to a good start. I didn’t expect to make the top 16 but I did it. I’m still happy it’s still a best time.”
Having failed to advance to the final of the freestyle event, Schooling will now turn his attention to the 100m butterfly on Thursday, his preferred event.
Schooling is no doubt excited about the event, and admitted that he is thrilled to have the opportunity to race against American Michael Phelps, who has won 21 gold medals in his illustrious Olympic career.
“I think my fly is looking smooth. I did a 100 fly a few days before I took off and I was 51.5 seconds,” he said. “With an atmosphere like this and Michael (Phelps) and all beside me, I think I’ll be a lot faster.”