Schooling qualifies for fourth event at world championships
Singapore's Olympic champion to add 200m fly to schedule after meeting qualifying mark
As with all world-class swimmers, Joseph Schooling hates to lose in a race.
That mentality contributed to his success at the Olympic Games in Brazil last year, when he won a historic gold medal in the men's 100m butterfly with a Games record of 50.39 seconds.
But, yesterday morning (Singapore time), the 21-year-old was at peace after finishing second in the men's 200m fly at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Atlanta.
Schooling clocked 1min 56.45sec and finished behind Chase Kalisz (1:55.94).
Schooling's time is off his personal best and national record of 1:55.73, which he achieved at the 2015 South-east Asia Games on home ground.
"I am pleased with my time today. I was not concerned about the placing, as the main objective was to meet the mark for the World Championships," Schooling said.
"It is good to have the 200 fly in my list of events again; the last time I did it was more than a year ago (at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin)."
Schooling will add the 200 fly to his list of events at the Fina World Championships in Budapest in July, after bettering the event's "A" qualifying time of 1:57.28 in Atlanta.
“I am pleased with my time today... It is good to have the 200 fly in my list of events again.”Singapore’s Olympic champion Joseph Schooling
He has also qualified for 50m and 100m fly, as well as the 100m free, as a result of his timings in Rio last year.
The Singaporean is aiming to break Michael Phelps' world record of 49.82 in the men's 100m fly in Budapest; the American's mark was achieved in 2009 in a now-banned performance-enhancing super-suit.
The Atlanta meet was Schooling's first since the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Swimming and Diving Championships in March.
Midway through the competition, he fell sick and failed to retain his 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly titles.
While he acknowledged after the meet that he had taken his foot off the pedal, Schooling vowed to be in top form by July.
Then, he said: "I definitely want to put the 200m fly back in. I think I haven't improved a lot in that event, or as much as I wanted to over the years.
"But I think this year, we could have a solid 200m fly; I think it'll surprise a lot of people."
Yesterday, he added: "We are about 77 days away from my first event in Budapest.
"There is still some work to be done, but I am looking forward to a busy summer."