BUDAPEST, July 24 — Joseph Schooling got his campaign to win two golds at the Fina World Championships off to a promising start when he qualified overall third for the 50m butterfly semi-finals yesterday (July 23) in a new Asian and national record.
The reigning Olympic 100m butterfly champion clocked 23.05sec to finish third in his heat and sliced 0.20sec off his Asian record, which he had set at the 2015 World Championships in the Russian city of Kazan.
Schooling finished overall third behind Ukrainian Andrii Govorov (22.92sec) and American Caeleb Dressel (22.97sec).
Dressel is the swimmer who beat Schooling in the 100-yards butterfly final at the NCAA Championships in March and broke his record.
The 50m fly is one of two events that Schooling has targeted to win in Budapest, along with the 100m butterfly.
The 22-year-old University of Texas undergraduate told the media after his race, he took two breaths leading into the last 15m, which led him to go “a bit further”, slowing his momentum a little.
He said he was “a little nervous” going in as he dealt with “first race jitters”. But he said he “did a good job”, adding that he now knows “the feel of the crowd, the feel of the water, the feel of the competition”, and that would give him the confidence he needed.
Added Schooling: “I’m going to go back and look at form, maybe I’ll take two breaths in a row, and I should cut down a breath, kind of slowed down my momentum a little bit, but other than that I felt like I went out there, I raced well.”
While Schooling is targeting to break Michael Phelps’ world record in the 100m fly, the 50m fly sprint is not on his wish list.
He said: “No, that world record is insane — 22.4sec. As you can see, everyone’s like half a second behind the world record, so it’s all about winning this event. I don’t really care about the world record in this event.” — TODAY