Schooling to swim in tonight's 50m fly final
For a sprint event such as the 50m butterfly, every little detail counts, down to the number of strokes and when you breathe.
So, Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling was momentarily unsure where he'd finish in his 50m fly semi-final at the Fina World Championships last night (Singapore time), after he took a longer stroke than usual at the end.
"I was a little long on the finish, really long, and after I took that last stroke I didn't really know where I was going to be, so I was happy to go under 23 seconds," said the 22-year-old.
Imperfect as it was, Schooling still managed to clock a new Asian and national record of 22.93sec to finish third in his semi-final, behind Ukraine's Andrii Govorov (22.77sec) and Brazil's Nicholas Santos (22.84sec).
Schooling was fifth overall in the semi-finals, with American Caeleb Dressel topping the charts with 22.76 in the first semi-final.
Briton Benjamin Proud, who also swam in the first semi-final, was fourth overall with 22.92sec.
It was the second time Schooling rewrote his Asian and national marks in the event in a day.
Earlier yesterday, he clocked 23.05sec in the heats to erase his previous mark of 23.25, clocked at the last World Championships in Kazan, Russia, two years ago.
The 2016 Olympic 100m fly champion was third overall from the heats, after Govorov (22.92sec) and Dressel (22.97sec).
After the heats, the Singaporean said he had first-race jitters, but thought he did "a good job".
Schooling will race in the men's 50m fly final tonight, while teammate Quah Zheng Wen could feature in the same session in the men's 100m back semi-finals.
Asked about the final, Schooling said: "I am really not thinking about tomorrow's race; my goal was making the top eight, and I am actually more concerned about how (golfer Jordan) Spieth is doing at the Open Championship right now.
"(Swimming) will be in the back of my head, but I will not be constantly thinking about it."
In the 400m freestyle, both the men's and women's defending champions retained their titles.
China's Sun Yang kept the men's gold in 3min 41.38sec, ahead of arch-rival Mack Horton of Australia, who won silver 2.47secs back as Italy's Gabriele Detti took bronze at 2.55.
America's Katie Ledecky won her race in a new championship record of 3:58.34, ahead of compatriot Leah Smith (4:01.54) and China's Li Bingjie (4:03.25).
Meanwhile, Singapore finished the four-day Commonwealth Youth Games swimming competition in the Bahamas yesterday as the fourth-best nation overall, with seven golds, four silvers and six bronzes.
England were the top performers in the pool with nine golds, nine silvers and four bronzes.
The quartet of Francis Fong, Samuel Khoo, Quah Jing Wen and Natasha Ong won the mixed 4x100m medley yesterday in 3min 56.74sec, while New Zealand (3:57.21) and England (3:59.33) were second and third respectively.
Also, Jing Wen, 16, collected a silver in the girls' 200m fly with 2:13.29, while England's Ciarra Schlosshan (2:10.95) and Kiwi swimmer Brittany Castelluzzo (2:13.80) took the gold and bronze respectively.
"I am pleased with the overall performance of the team," said national youth head coach Leonard Tan, who led the swim team at the Bahamas.
"Medals were delivered, but our main focus was on consistency and preparing the swimmers for SEA Games and the World Juniors.
"We saw some good, consistent performances from a lot of the swimmers, but we are only halfway there because their target meets are a few weeks away.
"There were some races that we felt the swimmers could do better in, and the swimmers themselves are aware of that."