A relationship that ended on a high

A relationship that ended on a high
What a way to finish – Joseph Schooling and Sergio Lopez are all smiles as they part ways in Scotland.

GLASGOW - Even as Joseph Schooling basked in the glory of his finest hour, he had to say goodbye to a mentor and friend who had helped shape him into becoming a Commonwealth Games silver medallist.

Sergio Lopez had been the 19-year-old's coach for the past five years at the Bolles School in Florida but left Glasgow hours after his protege's biggest success, bound for California to lead his team at the junior nationals in the United States.

Schooling has graduated from that establishment and will start at the University of Texas, Austin, in August.

If there were tears shed, the media and public never saw them as master and pupil embraced and goofed around for the cameras. Both spoke in glowing terms about each other.

Lopez, a Spaniard who won the 200m breaststroke bronze at the 1988 Olympics, said: "This is my last competition with him after five years together, so it is very hard just to let go.

"For boarders like him, we develop close relationships to help them. I feel like a dad to him. Our families are close, too. He has learned and now he understands swimming. Now, he has enough experience. He is growing into a man."

Schooling said that because he knew the parting was on the horizon, he found extra speed to win the silver medal in the 100m butterfly race for his guru.

He said: "This is a really emotional day for both of us. Sergio has taught me so much and had to put up with me. "He really treated me like his own son. He's like a dad to me. Seeing that this is my last race with him really motivated me to swim extra hard for him."


This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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