Singapore’s Joseph Schooling qualified for the final of his pet event, the 100m butterfly at the FINA World Championships on Saturday (29 July).
Schooling clocked 50.78 seconds to finish first in his semi-final.
The top seed going into the final is American Caeleb Dressel in a time of 50.07s.
Defending world champion South Africa’s Chad le Clos did not qualify for the finals, placing 12th overall.
Schooling will have to put in the swim of his life in order to top the podium. American Caeleb Dressel has recorded the fastest ever time in a textile suit. His timing eclipses Schooling’s gold-medal winning time of 50.39s from last year’s Olympics, and is the third-fastest time in the event. Only Milorad Cavic (49.95s) and Michael Phelps (49.82s) have gone under 50 seconds in the now-banned super suits.
Schooling, who tasted defeat in the pool against Dressel during the NCAA Championships in March, said, “Caeleb’s been having an amazing meet, he is on form, no one can touch him right now. It’s pretty impressive actually and makes for an exciting race tomorrow.
“I am looking forward to the rivalry Caeleb and I are going to have for the next few years, but the most important thing is tomorrow’s race.
“For tomorrow, who can race the hardest, will be the best.”
The final takes place on Saturday night starting at 11:30pm.