Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Joseph Schooling breaks 3 national open records in qualifying for SEA Games & World Championships

Source: Red Sports

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)

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.

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