Schooling has mindset to win a medal at worlds, says coach
National coach Lopez says Schooling has chance to medal at Worlds with a bit of luck
As the biggest fish in one of world swimming’s smallest ponds, Singapore’s Joseph Schooling has set his sights on making a huge splash in the swimming competition of the world championships in Kazan, Russia, starting on Sunday.
Singapore has never won a swimming medal at the Olympics or world championships but the 20-year-old is the country’s best prospect to do so in years.
Last month, he completely dominated the South-east Asia (SEA) Games here, winning gold medals in each of the nine events he entered.
For the world championships, Schooling is ditching the lung-bursting programme he swam at the SEA Games to focus entirely on his best stroke — the butterfly.
Although he qualified in other events, he knows his best chance of success is to conserve himself, so he has entered in just the 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly, with the 100m his best chance of getting on the podium.
The eight-day swimming programme in Kazan starts on Sunday.
“He doesn’t need all those other events right now,” Singapore’s national head coach Sergio Lopez told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
“What he really needs is to have the experience of fighting for a medal, at the highest level. That’s his goal and, while it’s going to be very hard, he has the potential and the mindset.
“Of course, there are a lot of other people who have that as well, so it’s just a matter of what’s going to happen in the next 12 months but, with a bit of luck, he could win a medal.”
Read the full report in our print edition on July 31.
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