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Commonwealth Games: Singapore win first swimming medal

Swimmer Joseph Schooling clocked 51.69 secs in the men’s 100m butterfly final, to finish behind South African star Chad Le Clos.

SINGAPORE: Swimmer Joseph Schooling won the silver medal in the men’s 100m butterfly final at the Commonwealth Games to claim Singapore’s first ever medal in the sport at the quadrennial meet.

The 19-year-old clocked 51.69 secs at the Tollcross Swimming Centre in Glasgow to finish behind South African star Chad Le Clos, who took the gold medal in a new Games record of 51.29. England’s Adam Barrett claimed the bronze in 51.93.

Schooling’s time is also a new national record, having bettered the previous benchmark of 52.22 which he set on Sunday.

"When I jumped in the pool, this was the only race that I felt really, really confident and kind of at peace and I knew exactly what I had to do and wanted to do," he said after the event. "I executed the race almost perfectly. I knew I had to get out fast and I was out there with them. Coming back, I knew I just had to hold on. And I remember thinking to myself, at the last 15 yards, I've got to dig deep. I saw I was catching Chad and I think I passed him at one point, and at that point I was just trying to finish and get to the wall as quickly as I could. I am glad that I could win Singapore's first swimming medal ever (at the Commonwealth Games). It is a huge honour and also a huge relief to myself."

Of Schooling's performance, Singapore Chef de Mission Low Teo Ping said: "This is really a world-class field. If you look at his timing for the 100m butterfly, which is 51.69secs, he probably has put himself as one of the top four or five in the world, so that bodes well as he proceeds now to the his next ambition, which is the Rio Olympics.

"The silver medal that he won is much worth more than just a silver medal. It is a medal that tells us how important it is for athletes to sacrifice their education and also for the parents to invest in the athlete, plus also the whole system in Singapore itself supporting him."

This is also Singapore’s fifth medal at the Commonwealth Games, after gold medals from shooter Teo Shun Xie, the men’s and women’s table tennis team events, and a bronze medal from badminton in the mixed team.

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