Olympics: Schooling misses 100m butterfly semis, plans to go on
Joseph Schooling's defence of his Olympic 100m butterfly title unravelled at the heats on Thursday (July 29) as he clocked 53.12sec to finish last among eight swimmers in Heat 5, which was won by Nyls Korstanje of the Netherlands in 51.54sec.
The Singaporean, whose best timing this year was 52.93sec, was 44th among the field of 55 swimmers. Only the top 16 swimmers will progress to the semi-finals on Friday morning.
He told reporters at the mixed zone that he does not know exactly what his plans are for the rest of the year and beyond, but he added: "I definitely don't want it to end like this."
The 26-year-old said he felt off and "flat" before the race but was unable to explain why.
He added that it was definitely not a fitness issue and that preparations under coach Sergio Lopez were as good as they could have been.
Teammate Quah Zheng Wen, 24, also missed the cut after clocking 52.39sec to finish fourth out of seven swimmers in Heat 4. He placed 34th overall.
Schooling won Singapore's only Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 in an Olympic record of 50.39sec, which was also the best timing of the heats on Thursday, clocked by hot favourite Caeleb Dressel of the United States in Heat 8.