Joseph Schooling admits he's on the 'heavy side', vows to fix it
But Olympic champion, who lost his 2nd SEA Games title yesterday, vows to fix it
Olympic 100m butterfly champion Joseph Schooling addressed talk regarding his physique yesterday, admitting that he's "on the heavy side".
The 24-year-old made the comments after settling for silver in the SEA Games 100m freestyle, as compatriot Darren Chua clinched the gold at the New Clark City Aquatics Center.
This was the second time he had lost a SEA Games title to a teammate, with Teong Tzen Wei pipping him to the 50m butterfly title last Thursday.
Before this year's Games in the Philippines, Schooling had not lost a race at the biennial meet since 2011.
Singapore's only Olympic champion admitted that he was not happy with his physical conditioning, saying: "I got a lot of work to do, things to sort out.
"I know I'm definitely on the heavy side coming into this meet. After (the World Championships in July), I felt that (at) 78kg-79kg, I had no power, I was weak.
"So I tried to gain a couple more kilos... like in 2017, but I think now is a good litmus test to see that 79kg, 78kg, or even 80kg lean is where I need to be.
"After this, (I'm) definitely going to chat with Rico (sports nutritionist Richard Swinbourne), and we'll fix this. Looking forward to it, actually."
The 1.84m swimmer was 74kg when he struck gold at Rio 2016, with national training centre head coach Gary Tan saying last Saturday: "There is some recognition of things that he needs to change in the lifestyle part of it, especially getting a bit more trim and getting him to work towards getting fitter as well."
While Schooling was open about talking about his physique, he was not keen on responding to Tan's suggestion about needing to make lifestyle changes, saying: "No, I'm here to talk about swimming.
"Nothing outside the pool."
In the pool yesterday, he got off to a good start with the fastest reaction time (0.59 seconds), but was edged at the death by 19-year-old Chua, who touched the wall in 49.59, 0.05 ahead of Schooling.
Vietnam's Hoang Phuoc Quy bagged bronze in 50.08.
Said Schooling: "No one likes to lose, that's why we do this.
"As long as you give it your all, I can't be too disappointed in the effort. I'm disappointed in the result, but this is a good reality check.
"We got to get better every single day, I think we've been missing that. After this meet, it's a good seven months to prepare for what I need to do (at Tokyo 2020)."
Chua, meanwhile, has enjoyed a whirlwind debut Games, winning his first individual title in the 200m freestyle last Saturday, before topping that by beating an Olympic champion yesterday.
The bespectacled teen said he had no idea that he had won yesterday's race until his coach yelled at him to celebrate.
Said Chua: "I saw the guy beside me (being) pretty quick , so I tried to keep up with him.
"The last 50m, I just wanted to touch the wall damn badly...
"At first, I didn't know (I won) because I couldn't see, I don't have my specs. My coach just started shouting: 'Celebrate'.
"Then I thought maybe I (had) won or something...
"It feels good (to beat Schooling)... It gives me more confidence of swimming my own race.
"I'm more confident of making the (Olympic) 'A' cut... I really want to qualify for Tokyo 2020."
Singapore's medallists yesterday
- Men's softball team
- New Hui Fen
(bowling, women's Masters)
- Lionel Khoo
(swimming, men's 50m breast)
- Amanda Lim
(swimming, women's 50m free)
- Darren Chua
(swimming, men's 100m free)
- Elena Pedersen, Christie Chue, Quah Jing Wen, Quah Ting Wen
(swimming, women's 4x100m medley relay)
- Jefferson Cheong, Samson Lee, Simon Lee, Tan Weixuan
(fencing, men's epee team)
- Anthony Kiong, Colin Ng, Xu Yuanzhen, Roy Tay, Stanley Chan and Daniella Ng
(sailing, mixed keelboat, fleet racing in FE28R)
- Nicklaus Chiam, James Leow, Tai Hiroshi Hirahara
(golf, men's team)
- Joseph Schooling
(swimming, men's 100m free)
- men's ice hockey team
- Hanurdeen Hamid
(boxing, men's flyweight 52kg)
- Shayna Ng
(bowling, women' Masters)
- Jaris Goh
(bowling, men's Masters)
- Nur Alysha Rizwan
(wakeboarding, women's wakeskate)
- Jolie Lee, Ann Lee, Lee Kar Moon, Jessica Ong
(fencing, women's sabre team)
- Goh Choon Huat
(road cycling, men's individual road race)
- Aloysius Yapp
(men's 10-ball pool singles)
- Shanti Pereira