TEXAS: Singapore’s Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling has given the perfect response to his main rival Caeleb Dressel ahead of the FINA World Championships in Budapest.
Schooling clocked 50.96s to win the 100m butterfly finals at the 2017 Speedo Southern Zone Long Course Sectional Championships in Austin, Texas on Saturday (Jul 8).
This is just 0.09s off Dressel’s world-leading time in the same event.
Dressel swam 50.87s at the recent US World Championships Trials in Indianapolis.
Schooling said: “I wanted to clock the fastest time going into Budapest but I am happy with my time of 50.96. It is the second fastest time this year and the same time that won me bronze in Kazan (at the last World Championships) in 2015.”
“Caeleb has the fastest time this year but I am not going to let anyone take that number one spot from me. I am looking forward to an interesting showdown in Budapest,” he added.
Schooling will head to Croatia in the next few days for a training camp with the Singapore swimming team.
He will kickstart his World Championships campaign with the 50m butterfly event on Jul 23.