Schooling misses out on 200m fly final
Singapore quickly turns his focus to his final race
National swimming ace Joseph Schooling missed the cut for the 200m butterfly final at the World Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, by 0.36sec last night.
At about 10 minutes past midnight, the 20-year-old finished sixth in his semi-final with a time of 1:56.11, which placed him 10th out of 16 semi-finalists.
Only the top eight advanced to tonight's final.
Despite boasting the quickest reaction time of all 16 swimmers (0.58sec) in his semi-final, Schooling trailed by the halfway mark and never recovered.
Hungarian Laszlo Cseh was the fastest qualifier in the event with a time of 1:53.53, followed by South Africa's Chad Le Clos (1:54.50) and Japan's Masato Sakai (1:54.75).
Schooling failed to better his national record of 1:55.73, which he clocked at the OCBC Aquatic Centre at June's SEA Games.
He said: "I'm disappointed with my results but every time I hit the pool, I aim to swim my best - for myself and for Singapore.
"It was tough today, though, and I pushed myself as hard as I could.
"These guys are great swimmers and I just have to get faster.
"I need to focus and get ready for the 100m fly."
The University of Texas student will turn his attention to the 100m butterfly, his final event of the championships.
The opening heats and semi-finals are on Friday, with the final scheduled 24 hours later.
Schooling will be hoping for the same form that helped him win Singapore's first swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games when he bagged a silver in the event last July in a national record of 51.69sec.
National coach Sergio Lopez is confident his charge will do well (see report on page 17).
In yesterday's morning heats for the 200m fly, Schooling finished 13th quickest among 40 swimmers with a time of 1:56.85, where he also claimed the quickest reaction time (0.59sec).
On Monday night, he lowered his own Asian record when he clocked 23.25sec in the 50m butterfly, finishing seventh.
Frenchman Florent Manaudou was in a class of his own, winning the race in 22.97, ahead of Brazil's silver medallist Nicholas Santos (23.09) and joint-bronze medallists, Cseh and Konrad Czerniak of Poland.
Schooling, who had set the previous continental mark of 23.27 in the semi-finals on Sunday, was 0.10sec off the two third-placed finishers.
There was little joy for two other Singaporeans in action yesterday.
Quah Ting Wen finished 38th out of 63 swimmers with a time of 2:02.13 in the women's 200m freestyle heats, while Lionel Khoo finished 46th out of 76 swimmers in the men's 50m breaststroke in 28.87sec.