Joseph Schooling has won gold medals at the Olympics, the Asian Games and the SEA Games since 2011, but he has yet to win any medals at the Singapore leg of the Fina World Cup swimming series.
The Singapore swim star will have a chance to break his duck when the event – which is presented by Yakult – returns to the OCBC Aquatic Centre on November 15-17, as he has pencilled in his name for the short-course competition for the first time since 2008.
Singapore has hosted a leg of the prestigious World Cup series since 2007, but Schooling left for the United States in 2009 when he was 14 years old, in order to train under top swimming coaches at Bolles School in Florida and then at University of Texas.
Schooling is scheduled to complete his college education this year, and has returned to Singapore to continue training for next year’s World Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The World Cup series will be the 23-year-old’s first major competition since he won two golds and two bronzes at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta in August. He will be joined by fellow Singaporean national swimmers Roanne Ho, Quah Ting Wen, Jonathan Tan and Glen Lim, all of whom attained impressive results at the Asian Games.
Other major swim stars who have confirmed their participation in the event include Australia’s two-time Olympic gold winner Emily Seebohm; her compatriot and reigning Olympic men’s 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers; defending Olympic women’s 100m butterfly champion Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden; and Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu, who holds the record for most wins in this World Cup series with a staggering 266 individual victories.
Launched in 1988, the Fina World Cup series is held between August and November each year across several legs around the world, and now has a total prize money of US$2.5 million. This year’s event kicked off in Kazan, Russia, earlier this month and is scheduled to be hosted in five other cities (Doha, Eindhoven, Budapest, Beijing and Tokyo) before ending in Singapore.
The competition is in the short-course format, conducted in a swimming pool that is configured for 25 metres per lap instead of 50 metres for the more common long-course format.