Schooling ready to reach next level

Schooling ready to reach next level

In 51.69 seconds, everything changed.

In 51.69 seconds, Joseph Schooling went from hopeful teenager to Commonwealth Games medallist to a marked man at this year's Incheon Asian Games - at least in the butterfly event in swimming.

His 100m winning time for the silver medal, which was inferior only to world champion Chad le Clos' 51.29 effort, makes him among those to beat when the best in Asia take the plunge in the pool today to start the swimming programme.

"The Commonwealth silver changed everything," said the 19-year-old, who is making his Asiad debut.

"I was happy because it meant (my timing) was eighth in the world but it also left me wanting more."

It has been three decades since Ang Peng Siong won Singapore men's last Asiad swimming gold, in the 50m freestyle at the 1982 New Delhi Games.

But with Schooling's Commonwealth Games times in the 50m and 100m fly the best in Asia this year - his 23.43sec in the 50 fly equalled the Asian record - there is hope that the long drought could finally come to an end.

"I want to win an Asian Games gold medal. If I'm aiming for 2nd or 3rd place, I shouldn't even bother.

"Taking two weeks off school, there's a lot of work to catch up and winning is what I want to do."

With the likes of Olympic medallists Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen from China, Japan's Kosuke Hagino and Ryosuke Irie and hometown favourite Park Tae Hwan, the big three swimming nations are expected to snap up most of the 19 gold medals on offer once again.

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