Republic strike gold, thanks to Joe
Schooling retains 100m fly title in Games record time, then helps 4x100m freestyle team to a bronze
Majulah Singapura was heard at the 2018 Asian Games for the first time yesterday as Joseph Schooling retained his 100m butterfly title.
The 23-year-old, who had clocked 52.31sec in the morning's heats to become the top qualifier, touched home first in the final in a new Games record of 51.04.
In what was a closely fought final, Schooling shrugged off the challenge of China's Li Zhuhao to take the gold, smashing the previous Games record of 51.76 he set at the Incheon Asiad in 2014.
Li finished second in 51.46, while Japan's Yuki Kobori took the bronze in 51.77. Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen was fourth in 52.54.
Schooling then returned to help the Republic's 4x100m freestyle team to a bronze.
Speaking to reporters at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Centre in Jakarta after his gold-medal win, Schooling said: "The time is okay, but it's all about stepping up for your country and yourself and trying to get your hand on the wall first."
I’m really happy, these guys stepped it up and I’m glad we managed to pull it off in record fashion so it’s nice.Singapore’s Quah Zheng Wen, on the 4x100m freestyle quartet who won the bronze in a national record of 3:17.22
"I just tried to hold the guy next to me," he added, referring to China's Li , who finished fifth at the Rio Olympics final which Schooling won, and was top-ranked in Asia this year with a 51.77 effort.
"He's been in the Olympic final and World Championships final multiple times so I knew he'd be tough to beat, so I just tried to execute my strong points and get my hand on the wall first."
There was more cheer later, as the men's 4x100m freestyle team won a bronze medal.
The quartet of Darren Lim, Danny Yeo, Darren Chua and Jonathan Tan had qualified third fastest in the heats with 3:20.16. But last night's final saw Jonathan, 16, and Yeo, 28, replaced by Schooling and Quah.
Buoyed by their positive performances earlier, Schooling and Quah helped see out the challenge of South Korea to take the bronze in 3:17.22, erasing the previous national record of 3.17.85 set last year.
Said Quah: "I'm really happy, these guys stepped it up and I'm glad we managed to pull it off in record fashion so it's nice."
Last night's results took Singapore's medal tally at this Asiad to four, after the men's 4x200m freestyle team won a bronze on Monday.
In Palembang yesterday afternoon, bowlers Daphne Tan, Bernice Lim and Joey Yeo also won a bronze in the women's trios event.
Schooling will get a chance to win his second gold when he takes part in the 50m butterfly today.