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'It's hard to swallow': Joseph Schooling disappointed by butterfly performance at Olympics, vows to fight harder

'It's hard to swallow': Joseph Schooling disappointed by butterfly performance at Olympics, vows to fight harder

Singapore's Joseph Schooling competes in a heat for the men's 100m butterfly swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Jul 29, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)

TOKYO: Olympic champion Joseph Schooling vowed that he will not end his swimming career on a bitter note after failing to qualify for the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday (Jul 29).

Schooling finished last in his 100m butterfly heat at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre, clocking a time of 53.12s. The top 16 qualify for the semi-finals of the event. Schooling's time placed him 44th overall out of 55.

Schooling’s national record stands at 50.39s, which he achieved in the 2016 Rio Olympics. It earned him an Olympic record and a gold medal.

Speaking to reporters after the race, Schooling said that his timing did not reflect the effort that he and his team had put in.

"I was excited going out ... more excited than the (100m freestyle). It was just go - there wasn't really (anything) negative. The time just didn't reflect everything that we've done this year. And sometimes that's how it is," he said.

Joseph Schooling competes in the 100m butterfly heats at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Jul 29, 2021. (Photo: Facebook/Team Singapore)

"It's hard to swallow, it's hard to digest, but at the same time ... you live to fight another day. And I sure as hell don't want to end it like this, it's just one of those meets."

Schooling noted that he had much higher expectations for his pet event at the Tokyo Olympics, and had hoped to hit a personal best time.

READ: Singapore's champion and the fight to defend his Olympic crown: Joseph Schooling's Tokyo challenge 

"A best time, anything under my record would have been great. But we are definitely way off that," he explained.

"We've been working our tail off for the last 15 months. So, (I) definitely had bigger expectations for this ... Sometimes it just doesn't work out, sometimes ... (you) just have an off week. But that's not an excuse - that's just more fuel for next time."

Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen during the men's 100m Butterfly heats at the Tokyo Olympics on Jul 29, 2021. (Photo: Team Singapore)

Schooling’s compatriot Quah Zheng Wen also missed out on the semi-finals as he timed 52.39s.

Schooling said: "It's a very disappointing performance overall. But there's always another one, I'm just not going to end it like that." 

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: CNA/zl(ta)

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