How Schooling aced the semis
Ahead of the 100M Butterfly Final at 91.2am (Singapore time), former national swimmer and two-time Olympian (1984 and 1988) David Lim analyses Joseph Schooling's semi-final race...
Fastest off the blocks with reaction time of 0.61 shows Joe's in the zone and very focused.
He will need to be quick off the blocks again in the final.
Because of great start and powerful underwater dolphin kicks, Joe requires just three strokes to get to 25m mark.
At this point, he is under world record pace, which he remarkably maintains until about 40m mark.
With a national 100m fly record
of 23.25, Joe can definitely go faster but shows good pacing not to burn himself out.
He touches wall behind Russian Aleksandr Sadovnikov at 23.81 because he leaves it a bit long and can't take another stroke.
At this level, swimmers know exactly how many strokes it takes to get to wall and I believe Joe will be able to adjust for a better turn.
Joe's style of coming up high off water is unconventional but not something he can change now.
The textbook-style coaches would teach swimmers to keep the arms close to the water surface when they come up to not undulate too much and reduce resistance.
But Joe's style works as his kicks are very good and he is able to use his arms to push the water back and launch himself forward.
I always felt Joe's timing for breathing is also a bit off but all these are fine because he has very efficient strokes and superb dolphin kicks to propel him underwater and that's more important.
Like at the split, his last touch is long and he can't take another stroke, so I believe a faster time is within him and he will need it because it looks like the gold-medal winning time will be below 50.83.
One thing's for sure, Joe has now established himself as the man to beat.