Asian Games: Joseph Schooling qualifies fastest in 100m butterfly heats as he eyes redemption following his 50m bomb
Singaporean puts disappointing 50-metre campaign behind him to go fastest in his pet event
Singapore’s Joseph Schooling made a sparkling return to the Asian Games swimming pool in Jakarta on Wednesday when he blew the field away in qualifying for the final of his favoured 100-metre fly event.
The reigning 100m fly Olympic champion touched the wall in 52.31 seconds, the fastest time in the heats.
The 23-year old immediately turned his attention to the final, which gets under way at 8pm (Hong Kong time) tonight at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatics Centre, and some of his main rivals for the Asiad title.
“My split time of 24.50 in the first 50m felt fine, I was building into it,” Schooling said. “On the way back I saw the guy from Kazakhstan really go so it’s a nice spurt at the end, I got my hand on the wall first and I wanted a medal lane for tonight.”
Schooling highlighted China’s Li Zhuhao as a potential challenger for his Asian Games title.
“It’s anyone’s race tonight and you never know what’s going to happen,” said Schooling, who is the current Asian record holder in 100m fly. “He (Li) swam pretty well at Chinese nationals and his 200m fly is around the same as what he did there so I’m expecting him to drop more time tonight.”
Schooling scored his first success of these games on Monday night when he claimed a bronze medal in the men’s 4x200m freestyle.
He followed that up with a disappointing swim in the 50m freestyle on Tuesday night, finishing fifth in his heat and missing out on a place in the final.