'Angry' Schooling fired up
Olympic champ wants to lay down marker for Worlds with fast swim in 100m fly at US Sectionals tomorrow
Joseph Schooling was an "angry" man at practice last Friday.
The previous day, his former Bolles School teammate Caeleb Dressel had clocked 50.87 seconds in the men's 100m butterfly at the US Summer Nationals - the world's fastest time in the event this season.
Pumped up in practice, the 22-year-old Singaporean pulled on a race suit and clocked a 50.70sec swim in the 100m fly.
"The 50.70 was kind of an angry swim; Caeleb did a fantastic swim at the Nationals and, the next day, I just wanted to get up and see where I can go," he told swimming website FloSwimming on the sidelines of the Speedo Southern Zone LC Sectional Championships in Texas yesterday.
But the Singaporean knows the timing meant little; what matters more is registering a good time officially in a competition setting, as he heads to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary later this month.
Schooling is aiming to win both the men's 50m and 100m fly, and better Michael Phelps' world record of 49.82sec in the 100m fly.
His personal best is 50.39sec clocked at last year's Rio Olympics where he won Singapore's first Olympic gold medal.
Yesterday, Schooling said: "I am looking forward to posting a time officially. As far as I am concerned, I haven't done anything yet.
"I am going to wait till Saturday and, hopefully, I can go into the Worlds with the fastest time."
The signs look promising.
Yesterday, Schooling clocked 48.74sec to win the 100m free at the Sectionals, where he will also race the 100m fly tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
While that effort is only the 32nd-fastest swim in the event this year, it is only about half a second off his national record of 48.27sec set at the Rio Olympics last year.
Yesterday, the swimmer also took time off his training and competition to take part in a Skype call at an event to unveil him as the ambassador for the new Milo Gao Siew Dai drink at Nestle's R&D Centre in Jurong West.
"I grew up drinking Milo pretty often and they used to bring those Milo trucks to sports events - Toa Payoh comes to mind - and we used to queue up for that," Schooling said, with his mother, May, in the background of the video call.
"As a swimmer, we swim and exercise so much; when I was younger, I didn't really watch my diet but, as soon as I hit the world stage, everything matters," added the swim star, who revealed that he would compete in the 50m and 100m fly, the 100m free and three relay events at the SEA Games in Malaysia next month.
"Whatever you put in your body is whatever you'd get out of it."
The new Milo product contains 50 per cent less sugar and 30 per cent more protein, and is targeted at adult consumers here.
Milo's head of research and development Olivier Aprikian said: "Balancing taste and health concerns was a pivotal part of the innovation process.
"Other than reducing sugar, we had to tweak the other elements and add in more cocoa and milk to ensure the beverage's taste was not compromised."
Separately, Schooling's father, Colin, said on the sidelines of the product launch yesterday that the swimmer will turn professional after completing his last NCAA championships with the University of Texas next year.
Colin said: "He still intends to swim under Eddie (Reese, Texas Longhorns head coach) and we are just praying that Eddie won't retire before Tokyo 2020, but we have other plans should that happen."