Joseph Schooling 200m butterfly

Singapore’s Joseph Schooling broke three national open records while meeting four SEA Games, three World Championships ‘B’ and one World Championships ‘A’ qualifying marks in three productive days at the ARENA Grand Prix in Charlotte, USA. (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images for Singapore Sports Council)


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Charlotte, North Carolina, United States of America, Monday, May 13, 2013 – Singapore’s Joseph Schooling broke three national open records and picked up two gold medals at the ARENA Grand Prix swimming meet.

Joseph’s productive outing at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Centre also saw the 17-year-old meet one World Championship ‘A’ and three ‘B’ qualifying marks, as well as four South-east Asian (SEA) Games qualifying marks in the six events he raced in.

Singapore swimmers aiming to qualify for the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games have only next month’s national championships to do so at. Overseas-based swimmers, however, may pre-nominate one meet at which to clock their times. Qualifying marks are based on the third-placed times at the previous Games in Palembang two years ago. There are up to two places available for each individual event.

In the 100 metres butterfly, Joseph finished 0.14 seconds ahead of American Olympic gold medalist Tyler McGill to win the final in a new national record of 52.33 seconds. Joseph, whose 2011 SEA Games bronze medal winning time of 53.18s was the national mark going into this meet, had earlier clocked 52.55s in the heats.

That was good enough to meet the ‘A’ qualifying mark of 52.57s for July’s FINA World Championships in Barcelona, and would have advanced Joseph to the semi-finals at last year’s Olympic Games, where he finished 35th out of 43 swimmers.

Joseph became the first local swimmer to go below 1 minute 50 seconds for the 200m freestyle when he swam a time of 1 minute 49.47 seconds in the final to place third, ahead of American 200m freestyle specialists Ricky Berens and Ryan Lochte. His 1:50.33 time in the heats had broken Bryan Tay’s national mark of 1:50.41 set at the 2008 Olympics.

His third national mark came in the 200m individual medley, where he clocked 2:00.77 to finish second in the final, again ahead of Lochte, who won the silver medal in this event at the 2012 Olympics. As in the previous two events, the national record was broken in the heats, when Joseph’s 2:03.26 broke his own 2:03.79 mark.

Joseph’s other win came in the 200m butterfly, when his time of 1:57.79 was his second fastest ever, behind the 1:56.67 he swam to win the gold medal at the 2011 SEA Games.

In the other two events, Joseph’s 50m freestyle time of 23.34s in the heats was just 0.01s off the SEA Games qualifying mark, while his 51.78-second showing in the 100m freestyle was nearly half a second off the Games qualifying mark of 51.36s.

Joseph Schooling at ARENA Grand Prix in Charlotte, USA

PB: Personal best; SG Q: Southeast Asian Games qualification mark; World 'A' / World 'B': FINA World Championships qualification marks
EventTypeResultPosRemarksSG QWorld 'A'World 'B'
50m freestyleHeats23.34sEqual 12thPB23.33s22.33s23.11s
50m freestyleB Final23.60s7th23.33s22.33s23.11s
100m freestyleHeats51.78s30th51.36s48.93s50.64s
200m freestyleHeats1:50.33Equal 2ndOpen Rec; SG Q; World 'B'1:52.361:48.421:52.21
200m freestyleFinal1:49.473rdOpen Rec; SG Q; World 'B'1:52.361:48.421:52.21
100m butterflyHeats52.55s1stOpen Rec; SG Q; World 'A'53.18s52.57s54.41s
100m butterflyFinal52.33s1stOpen Rec; SG Q; World 'A'53.18s52.57s54.41s
200m butterflyHeats1:59.651stSG Q; World 'B'2:01.441:57.032:01.13
200m butterflyFinal1:57.791stSG Q; World 'B'2:01.441:57.032:01.13
200m IMHeats2:03.262ndOpen Rec; SG Q; World 'B'2:06.961:59.992:04.19
200m IMFinal2:00.772ndOpen Rec; SG Q; World 'B'2:06.961:59.992:04.19