Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling booked a spot in the semi-finals of the 100m butterfly, clocking 51.21 seconds to finish fourth of 16 semi-finalists on Friday afternoon Singapore time (28 July).
Swimming in the same heat, compatriot Quah Zheng Wen clocked 52.13s to finish seventh in the heat and 18th overall
Schooling’s closest rival in the event is American Caeleb Dressel, the top qualifier in the event.
Dressel clocked 50.08s his heat, the fastest time ever in a textile suit. Michael Phelps’ world record, set in the era of the now-banned super suits, stands at 49.82s.
Dressel’s time is faster than Schooling’s winning time of 50.39s in the same event at the Olympics. Despite racing in the 50m free heats half an hour before this race, Dressel showed no sign of fatigue, finishing first in his heat and was also the only one under 51 seconds.
South African Chad Le Clos is the defending champion in the event and is coming off a win in the 200m fly on Wednesday (26 July). He finished second to Schooling in the 100m fly at last year’s Olympics.
Dressel beat Schooling at the 50 yard freestyle and 100 yard fly at the NCAA Championships in March this year.
The semi-finals will take place starting at 11:30pm Friday night Singapore time. Commenting on Dressel’s results, Schooling said, “Caeleb’s time is fast, it is a solid time, I’m pumped to race him and tonight should be fun.”
Quah, who targeted a top eight finish at this meet, was disappointed with his performances so far. He said, “It’s back to the drawing board, see how things are going and guess I will be supporting Jo all the way.
“It’s definitely annoying finishing 18th for the third time in a row, but you know this is not my main event so I was more disappointed finishing 18th in the 200 fly than here but it’s over.”
Quah has one final event, the 50m backstroke, on Saturday.