Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics, Joseph Schooling, Swimming

Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics

Outpouring of support will spur me on, says Joseph Schooling after Olympics exit

TOKYO: Less than a day after his exit from the 2020 Olympic Games, Joseph Schooling sits on a foldable chair in the shadow of the hulking Tokyo ...

30/7/2021 4:44:00 PM

WATCH: Singapore's Joseph Schooling says he will “reset” and come back with a plan after failing to defend his Olympic gold in the 100m butterfly at Tokyo2020

TOKYO: Less than a day after his exit from the 2020 Olympic Games, Joseph Schooling sits on a foldable chair in the shadow of the hulking Tokyo ...

for the 100m butterfly semi-finals. He clocked 53.12s in his heat and was 44th overall.And just like he did in the mixed zone after his race, Schooling does not shy away from dissecting his performance.“I gave it my best. And if my best was that today, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be the same tomorrow. And I expect it to be better,” Schooling told CNA.

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But it doesn’t make it sting any less.AdvertisementAdvertisement“Right now, it is a tough learning curve. It's a painful one, especially at the Olympics. But at the same time, if I could change anything over the last 15 months, no, I have no regrets,” he said.

“I have no regrets going to Virginia. I have no regrets maturing to the person that I am today. I have no regrets with the performance in the pool. I am disappointed, but I wouldn't change that for anything in the world.”Schooling masks the disappointment and hurt well. But it is still there, simmering below the surface.

Advertisement“(I've) definitely moved away from disappointment, and more of an upset feeling. The disappointment is still there, but I think it's going to take a bit longer than 12 hours to fully process what happened,” he said.“But it's okay … (I’ll) just take this time to reset, try not to think about swimming as much as much as possible, just embrace myself with all the support I’ve been getting, which is overwhelming … And come back and form a plan and go from there.”

What also remains is his will to battle, to fight, to push for more, said Schooling.“The desire still there. There are just little things that we do ... that I need to improve on … trusting coaches, trusting the process, not second-guessing things,” he said.

READ: 'It's hard to swallow': Joseph Schooling disappointed by butterfly performance at Olympics, vows to fight harderMEETING EXPECTATIONSA lot has been said online about Schooling’s performance in the pool. Not that it matters to him.“Should I read it?” he asked, with a hint of a smile behind his mask.

“No, I don't really (read online comments) Like the only comments I read are (from) people that contact me on Instagram or text me, call me, my parents, my family, but as far as online portals, no, not at all. I stopped reading them after 2012.”Joseph Schooling being interviewed by CNA outside the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Jul 30, 2021. (Photo: SNOC)

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Given that he has set the bar so high, is it fair that others continue to have these expectations of him?“That's a tricky one. So, I don't think anyone around me that knows me personally will demand or expect that. Fans I can understand. As an athlete, being in this position, they have every right to. But now the question is whether that gets to me, whether that affects me. It shouldn’t,” he replied.

“Expectations, pressure is always going to be there. It’s part of everything … So for me to say: ‘Oh no, like don't expect this from me,’ that's just me being unrealistic and living in la la land … I need to acknowledge that they're always going to be there, but just never let it get to me.

“So it's fair for them to have expectations. But I can only control what I do.”SWIMMING FOR OTHERSInstead, the reaction from the public after Thursday's race has given him new motivation, the 26-year-old said.“One of the best pieces of advice I've gotten … was who do you swim for? You swim for the people in the stands or you swim for yourself and your family? And maybe in 2017 I thought yeah just swim for my friends, my family, people that know me,” explained Schooling.

“But after yesterday, looking at the amount of support - people that I don't even know coming out, putting their thoughts on the line - they don't owe me anything.”READ: Singapore's champion and the fight to defend his Olympic crown: Joseph Schooling's Tokyo challenge

And swimming for them provides another dimension, added Schooling, who will return to Singapore on Saturday.“Swimming for more people and swimming for people like that just takes you to a new level,” he said.“It gives you a sense of serenity, it gives you a sense of confidence, and if you want to achieve something that you haven’t, you need to do things differently, need to have a higher purpose.”

Schooling said he never expected such a show of support.“It’s been great, it’s been overwhelming, in a good way. I honestly didn't expect that many people to come out and show their support,” he said.“It's a good surprise. All people - people that I don’t talk to, people that haven't talked to in a long time, have come out and show their support, and it means a lot to me.

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“It gives me something so much more to swim for than just myself and my immediate family. And I think that's really powerful.”Additional reporting by Wei Du.Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at

and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network. Read more: CNA »

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Point is why is he responsible to give a plan or answer why he is satisfied or not with the last 15 month ? National Service next. With such results and he says he will not change a thing for the world? Arrogance and now go serve NS The boy has done singapore proud b4. I had follow fina or world swimming event. I know u r not in the best of conditions coming to this olympics. The media is giving false hope. U done great boy. I am proud of ya

Next olympic is just 3 years away. Time to dethrone the champion once again with style just like in Rio. Come back stronger joschooling 💪🏼🙌🏼👍🏼

Swimming: Joseph Schooling fails to make semi-finals, will not defend 100m Olympic butterfly crownTOKYO: Olympic champion Joseph Schooling will not defend his men's 100m butterfly title after failing to qualify for the semi-finals at the Tokyo ... Yup sad 😭

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Tokyo Olympics: Joseph Schooling needs major rethink to change his narrative'But if we want to be honest about it, it was a little disconcerting to see such a steep and rapid regression of such an outstanding swimmer.' Singapore Tokyo2020 The coach needs to shoulder part of the blame. y’all report the olympics like a gossip rag lmao Face the fact, he’s passed his peak

Tokyo Olympics: Joseph Schooling finishes last in 100m butterfly heat, will not defend crownTo loose is ok..but not with that type of result.

Singapore's champion and the fight to defend his Olympic crown: Joseph Schooling's Tokyo challengeTOKYO: Who can forget that Saturday morning in Singapore five years ago when Joseph Schooling stunned the world at the Rio Olympics? His ...

Tokyo Olympics: Joseph Schooling's Olympic reign ends in 100m fly heatsTokyo2020: Singapore's Joseph Schooling came in last among eight swimmers in the 100m butterfly heats a while ago with a timing of 53.12s, thus ending his reign as Olympic champion. READ: Being cancer-stricken and begging CPF Board to repay overdue debt; that which in any case cannot be done as the money had been commingled and funneled to private entity Temasek Holdings for Ho Ching to wager on unviable, untenable and ultimately, invariably doomed gambles