We've got time to get Schooling trim and fit before Olympics, says coach
There is still time to get Joseph Schooling "trim and fit" before the Tokyo Olympics take place in seven months' time, said national training centre head coach Gary Tan.
Tan told reporters on Saturday that the Olympic 100m butterfly champion, who has won three golds and a silver at the ongoing SEA Games in the Philippines, was prepared to make “big changes”.
Schooling, 24, secured qualification for Tokyo 2020 by winning the 100m butterfly in 51.84 seconds on Friday, but has also set social media abuzz with a bulkier frame.
Said Tan: “There is some recognition of things that he needs to change, in the lifestyle part of it, especially getting a bit more trim and getting him to work towards getting fitter as well.
“The team’s in place to get him there and the first thing was to get him qualified for Olympics."
Schooling started his SEA Games campaign on Wednesday by winning a gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay, along with Quah Zheng Wen, Darren Chua and Jonathan Tan.
The following day, he had to settle for silver after losing to compatriot Teong Tzen Wei in the 50m butterfly.
On Friday, he pipped Quah by 0.03 seconds to retain his 100m butterfly title in a race where both met the Olympic 'A' cut, before winning the 4x100m freestyle relay as part of the same relay team.
Tan added: “We’re seven months out for Olympics, we’ve got time to get him trim and fit, and I know that he’s ready to make those big changes as well."
In Sunday morning's heats for the 100m freestyle, Schooling finished third in 50.37sec, behind the Philippines' Michael Gebbie (50.11) and Myanmar's Oo Win Htet (50.20).
He had won the event in 48.93sec in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.
His last event at the New Clark City Aquatics Center will be the men’s 4x100m medley relay on Monday.