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Swimmer Schooling qualifies for his first Commonwealth Games final

Joseph Schooling had smashed the national record for men's 50-metre butterfly during the heats, clocking a personal best of 23.43secs, at the ongoing Games in Glasgow.

SINGAPORE: Local teen swimmer Joseph Schooling is through to the finals of the men’s 50-metre butterfly event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, after coming in fifth in the semi-finals on Friday morning (July 25).

At the Tollcross International Swimming Complex, Schooling, 19, clocked 23.48secs to come in third in the first of the two semi-final races, which was good enough to qualify him for the finals. England’s Benjamin Proud came in first in the semi-finals in 23.16secs, while the Games record holder, South African Roland Schoeman, came in second (23.25secs) with compatriot Chad le Clos in third (23.29secs).

Schooling had earlier stunned the 50-strong field in the 50m butterfly heats by finishing second overall with a new national record of 23.43secs, ahead of 2012 Olympic gold medalist (200m butterfly) le Clos, who had timed 23.65secs in that race.

In the semi-finals of the women’s 100m butterfly, Singaporean swim queen Tao Li’s effort of 59.82secs could not qualify her for the finals. Tao, 24, started off strongly and was second at the 50m turn, only to fizzle out in the last 25m of the race.

England’s Rachel Kelly took the eighth and final spot for qualification to the finals in 59.02secs. Compatriot Siobhan O’Connor came in first with 57.57secs, while Canada’s Katerine Savard was second (57.83secs) and Australia’s Alicia Coutts was third (58.07secs).

Other Singaporean swimmers in action on day one of the swimming semi-finals – Quah Ting Wen (100m butterfly), Quah Zheng Wen (100m backstroke) and Samantha Yeo (50m breaststroke) – also failed to qualify for the finals.

The second day of the six-day swimming competition (July 24-July 29) will continue on Friday as Singapore looks to win its first swimming medal at the quadrennial Games.

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