JAKARTA: Singapore Olympic champion Joseph Schooling clinched his second gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games after winning the 50m butterfly final on Thursday night (Aug 23).
Schooling clocked 23.61s to touch the wall first ahead of his closest competitors at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Centre in Jakarta.
China's Wang Peng took silver, clocking 23.65s, while Kazakhstan's Adilbek Mussin took bronze in 23.71s.
Schooling was the fastest qualifier in the heats on Thursday morning. Victory was particularly sweet for the 23-year-old who had to settle for silver in the previous edition of the Games when he finished behind China's Shi Yang by 0.24s.
"Yeah it feels great, another huge relief," said Schooling after the victory ceremony.
"Time wasn't too great but it's a race right? The most important thing is to try and get your hand on the wall first and and it was very, very, very close. I didn't know who won till the end; I had to look up on the board and I almost couldn't believe it," he said.
On whether winning two gold medals in one Asian Games was him making an emphatic statement, Schooling said: "I'm just trying to do the best for my country as I can and it's awesome I can win a gold medal yesterday and add another gold today, so that's the most important thing - stepping up for your country."
The win means Schooling has now bagged four medals in Jakarta, one more than his haul in the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014.
He is also set to feature in the men's 4x100m medley relay on Friday, the final day of the swimming competition at the Asian Games.
Commenting on Schooling's individual performance at 2018 Asian Games, National Training Centre head coach Gary Tan said: "I think its a fact that Joseph did a fantastic job coming in here knowing that there is a lot of pressure on him to perform over the last couple of years ... So its good to see him come through this Asian Games with the two gold medals.
"He has worked really hard just trying to get into this shape, and at the end of the day we're still looking forward to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and it's all in the gear up to that."
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