GLASGOW - Years of hard work boiled down to a burst of explosive energy as Joseph Schooling powered his way into Singapore sports history by winning the country's first swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games.
The 19-year-old clinched the silver in the 100m butterfly at Glasgow's Tollcross Swimming Centre on Monday when he touched home in a new national record of 51.69sec, erasing his old national mark of 52.22 which he had set in the semi-finals.
It also eclipsed the Asian Games record (51.83) set in 2010 by China's Zhou Jiawei but it is 0.69sec slower than the Asian record held by Japan's Kohei Kawamoto since 2009.
South African swim star Chad le Clos won the gold in a new Games record of 51.29, while England's Adam Barrett took the bronze (51.93).
Schooling, who had been plagued by poor starts, overly tight swim shorts and a bout of self-doubt during the Games, regained his confidence by relaxing and bonding with his teammates.
Rejuvenated, he produced a textbook swim with a quick start off the block.
He was second at the split (27.45) and continued surging without losing steam, touching the wall and earning his place in Singapore's sports history.
"This is a huge honour and a huge relief," he said after the race.
"I started the Commonwealth Games well with a good heat in the 50m butterfly but I relaxed and it went downhill. I completely messed up my 200m butterfly. But I managed to come back and beat these guys in the 100m final.
"It showed how much I've matured."
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