Swimming: Joseph Schooling qualifies for 200m fly World Championships

Joseph Schooling. AP file photo

Singapore’s Joseph Schooling clocked 1:56:45 to finish second in the 200m butterfly in the Arena Pro Swim Series at Atlanta, Georgia on Monday morning (8 May).

It was Schooling’s first competition in a long course pool after a poor outing at theNational Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) swimming championships where he lost both the 100 and 200 yard fly titles in the short course competition.

Schooling’s timing qualifies him for the 200m fly at the Finals World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Chase Kalisz took first in 1:55:94 and Marcos Lavado came in third in 1:57:81. Schooling led for most of the way but could not hold off Kalisz in the last 25 metres.

“I am pleased with my time today. I was not concerned about the placing, as the main objective was to meet the mark for World Championships,” said Schooling in a statement after the race.

“It is good to have the 200 Fly in my list of events again, the last time I did it was more than a year ago. We are about 77 days away from my first event in Budapest, there is still some work to be done but I am looking forward to a busy summer,” he said.

At the previous World Championships in 2015, he came in third in the 100m butterfly behind Chad Le Clos and Laszlo Cseh, becoming the first Singaporean to win a medal at a World Championships. He placed 13th in the 200m butterfly semi-final.

Referring to the 200m butterfly, he previously told the media, “I think I haven’t improved a lot in that event or as much as I wanted to over the years, but I think this year we could have a solid 200 fly. I think it’d surprise a lot of people.”

He has said previously that he intends to take part in four races in Budapest – the 50m, 100m and 200m fly and the 100m freestyle. He is also gunning for Michael Phelps’ world record in the 100m fly.

The World Championships takes place from 23 to 30 July.

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