Schooling: Only results in world championships matter
He topped the men's 200m butterfly heats at the Texas Senior Circuit 2 yesterday morning (Singapore time) with a time of 2min 00.21sec.
But Singapore's Olympic champion Joseph Schooling decided not to swim in the final at College Station, Texas, which was won by his University of Texas teammate Jack Conger in 1:56.73.
Conger was second to Schooling in the heats with 2:01.14.
The 21-year-old Singaporean, who won the men's 100m fly at the Rio Olympics last year, did not give any reason for skipping the 200m fly final, but he was satisfied with his showing at the three-day meet, which ended yesterday morning.
Schooling said: "I came into this meet with a few objectives and I am happy with my progress so far.
"I managed to clock a couple of top times in the world this year, but that does not mean anything to me at this stage because what matters is how you do in Budapest."
He won the men's 50m fly in the same meet last Friday with 23.51sec, which ranks him 12th in the world in this event this year.
A day later, he won the 100m fly in 51.82sec, the seventh-fastest time this year.
South Africa's Chad le Clos is the fastest in the event this year, with 51.29sec.
The results at the Texas meet are encouraging for Schooling, who is in the midst of preparations for next month's World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Entered in four events - the 50m, 100m and 200m fly, and the 100m free - Schooling is aiming to win at least two medals, as well as to beat Michael Phelps' 100m fly world record of 49.82sec.
He said: "My focus is to continue working on things that I need to improve in and there will be one or two more competitions here in Texas for me to do that, before Budapest."