Sunday, August 14, 2016

8 Years After His Fanboy Moment, Joseph Schooling Stops Michael Phelps' Golden Run At The Olympics

In 2008, Michael Phelps met a bespectacled teenager in Singapore after breaking all sorts of swimming and Olympic records at the Beijing Games. Little did the star American swimmer know that that same teenager, who is now 21 years old, stop him from being the fastest to swim across 100m in butterfly stroke at the Olympics.

Phelps with a young Schooling
That guy is Joseph Schooling, who has now become Singapore's favourite son and has the put the city state on the Olympic map with its first gold medal. Before Schooling's historic feat, the Southeast Asian island had only won two silvers and two bronzes since it joined the Olympic fold in 1948.
Known at home for smashing national records and taking multiple titles in regional competitions, Schooling is over the moon for the achievement. "Its been a hard road, I've done something that no one in our country has done before. I've received a lot of support and that's phenomenal. It's been a tough road, I'm not going to lie, the first guy through the wall, it's always bloody," he told reporters after his win.
He ended Michael Phelps' Olympic medal tally to 22 gold medals and 27 medals overall, which is still more than India's overall medal count in Olympics (26).
Schooling beat Phelps, South Africa's Chad Le Clos and Hungary's Laszlo Cseh in the 100 metres butterfly final on Friday, to grab the gold while the others completed a remarkable three-way dead-heat for silver.
Michael Phelps and Schooling
Singapore has spent millions trying to win more medals at the Olympics, including offering a Foreign Sports Talent programme which grants promising foreign athletes citizenship, as well as a S$1 million ($743,494.42) prize for gold medals. 
Schooling left the country at 14 to train in the United States and now studies at the University of Texas in Austin, whose programme is led by two-time U.S. Olympic men's head coach Eddie Reese.
"This moment is not about me, it's all about my coaches my friends my family that believed that when I was a six year old kid that I could do it," he said.
Schooling won Singapore's first medal at last year's World Championships in the 100 butterfly. He also broke two Asian records. On Friday he set a new Olympic record of 50.39 seconds.
"I'm excited just to see how much faster he goes. It's up to him where he wants to take it. As big as he wants to dream, as hard as he wants to work, to do whatever is in his head," Phelps told praising Schooling.

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