Swimmers 'solid' so far

Swimmers 'solid' so far

He made a splash in the men's 50m butterfly event at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, matching the Asian mark and breaking the national record with a time of 23.43 seconds in his heat.

Joseph Schooling also set a new national record when he swam the first leg of the men's 4x100m freestyle, clocking a time of 50.24sec to break Danny Yeo's previous mark of 50.51 set last year.

The Singapore quartet also set a new national record for the event with a time of 3:20.98sec.

At the halfway stage of the swimming competition at the Glasgow Games, Singapore national coach Ian Turner described the performance of the swimming team as "solid".

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Turner said: "There are several highs - Joseph's 50m butterfly final, his 200m fly final and the relay teams making the finals as well.

"Everyone's been solid so far."

Early yesterday morning, Singapore's 19-year-old swim star Schooling finished seventh in the men's 50 fly final, clocking 23.96 seconds.

While it was slower than his time in the heats, the American-based swimmer was hardly disappointed.

"I trained for the 200 and the 100, not the 50 so, obviously, I came into this race just wanting to race as fast as I can, with pretty much no expectations," said Schooling.

"But in the next few butterfly events, I obviously have much more expectations of myself. Let's see what happens."

Schooling swam in the 200m butterfly final early this morning.

His qualifying time of 1 minute 58.04 seconds in yesterday's heats was slower than the national record of 1:56.27 that he clocked last year.

The Republic's other swim star, Tao Li, has had a less enjoyable time in Scotland.

Earlier in the week, she clocked 59.82 in the 100 fly semi-finals - more than two seconds off her national record of 57.54 - and missed out on the final.

She later withdrew from the 100m backstroke to focus on her pet event, the 50m butterfly.

ASIAN GAMES TARGET

She clocked 26.44 yesterday to qualify for the semi-finals (early this morning, Singapore time) as the joint fifth-fastest swimmer, but the 24-year-old has her eyes on the horizon - the Incheon Asian Games from Sept 19 to Oct 4.

"This (Commonwealth Games) is not my main target for the year. I just want to see where I stand and where I have to improve," said Tao.

"I'm not really in peak form here, but now I'm (tied for fifth) and I just want to get into the top eight and see how we go from there.

"The next Asian Games will probably be my last one and I want to go out with a bang for that one, have a proper taper and win for the third time."

Tao has won gold at the 50m butterfly at the last two editions of the Asiad - in Doha in 2006 as well as in Guangzhou in 2010 - and will look to end on a similar high in South Korea.

Turner is backing her to go faster, starting in Glasgow, especially after she has got her poor 100m butterfly swim out of the way.

"Tao Li will have to speed up again, and she will, I think she's got a lot of speed to give, especially now that she's got the cobwebs out of the way and out of her system," said Turner.

The swimming programme ends on Tuesday and Turner is looking forward to better showings from his charges in the next few days.

He said: "There have been solid performances, so let's see how much better they can do."

"I just screamed 'freedom' at the top of my lungs because just being here in front of a home crowd just brought out the Braveheart inside of me. I watched it just last week to get ready for this. It's such a Scottish thing." - Scot Daniel Wallace, who was inspired by national hero William Wallace, immortalised in the movie "Braveheart" (above) C'WEALTH GAMES


This article was first published on July 27, 2014.
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