Swimming: Schooling says 'I'll qualify for Asiad'

Swimming: Schooling says 'I'll qualify for Asiad'

He is tipped to shine at the Incheon Asian Games this September, one of the many stepping stones towards the Rio Olympics in 2016.

But swimmer Joseph Schooling's name was absent when the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) selectors made their initial selections for the Games after a lengthy discussion last night near the Sport Singapore headquarters in Kallang.

His omission was not a selection controversy though - the 18-year-old simply has not chalked up the results needed for selection yet.

The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) used the Singapore National Age-Group Championships last month as the sole qualifying meet for the Asiad, but allows overseas-based swimmers - such as Quah Ting Wen and Lynette Lim - to nominate one meet each to clock their timings.

In Schooling's case, it would be the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte next month.

When contacted last night, the Florida-based teenager told The New Paper that he is confident of meeting the qualifying marks - defined by the SNOC as the sixth-best finish at the previous Asiad - next month.

After all, he set two national records - in the men's 200m free and 100m fly - at the same meet last year.

TARGET

On the upcoming meet, he said: "Breaking national records in this meet isn't my target. My target is to qualify in all the events I'm competing in."

If his performance at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Myanmar last December - where he won all three individual events he was entered in - was any indication of his recent progress, the Bolles School student would have no problems qualifying for the Asiad.

Using his SEA Games timings, Schooling would qualify for the 100m fly and the 200m individual medley, while narrowly missing out on the qualifying mark of 1min 59.07sec in the 200m fly.

He is already selected for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, from July 23 to Aug 3, and confirmed he would go to both Scotland and South Korea if he is selected for the Asiad.

Meanwhile, the aquatics community received a boost last night during the Asiad selections.

Divers Myra Lee and Fong Kay Yian have been selected for the women's synchronised 3m springboard event, while Timothy Lee and Mark Lee will represent Singapore in the same event in the men's category.

Also, the Republic's women's water polo team will join their male counterparts at the Asiad for the first time since the event was introduced at the 2010 Guangzhou Games.

Both, along with swimming, are disciplines under the aquatics umbrella at the Games, and are under the purview of SSA here.

This article was published on April 5 in The New Paper.

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