Schooling breaks eight-year old record in Big 12 championships

File photo of Joseph Schooling (Photo: Reuters)

Singaporean Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling is back to breaking records again, this time in the 2017 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships in Texas.

Up against All-Americans Jack Conger, Brett Ringgold and Tate Jackson, Schooling secured gold in the 50-yard freestyle with a timing of 18.76s on Thursday (23 Feb), reported swimming news website SwimSwam.

It was 0.08 seconds faster than the previous conference record, set in 2008 by Jimmy Feigen, a gold medalist in the 4×100 metre freestyle for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He also broke a 13-year-old meet record with that timing, set in 2004 by Ian Crocker, a five-time Olympic medallist. Schooling had tied the timing earlier on Thursday, but is now the sole owner of the record with his sub-19 swim.

Schooling expressed his satisfaction with that achievement, but cited a need to remain focus as he continues to push himself towards the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) meet in March.

“I am happy with the timings that I clocked so far,” the 21-year-old said. “Of course breaking a record is a bonus. There are a couple more events in the next few days especially the fly events and the relays.

“I feel good and I am at where I want to be. The last few months have been about working on the small details and getting them right. It is working well and I just need to remain focus and do well in the NCAA meet next month.”

The University of Texas, where Schooling is a student, is the defending champion of the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships meet.