Icons of Asia: Joseph Schooling

Singapore isn’t known as a country that produces many top-quality swimmers, but 20-year-old Joseph Schooling is going a long way to changing that perception.

competes in the **** on day eleven of the 16th FINA World Championships at the Kazan Arena on August 4, 2015 in Kazan, Russia.

Born in 1995 as a third-generation Singaporean, Schooling’s talent in the pool was spotted at a young age and he was given the opportunity to attend the renowned swimming institution, the Bolles School, before graduating to the University of Texas.

There, he was taken under the wing of former US Olympic men’s head coach Eddie Reese.

A versatile swimmer capable of excelling in both sprint and IM events, it wasn’t long until Schooling made a name for himself at international level.


At the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, he won two gold medals and his winning time in the 200 butterfly was under the Olympic “A” qualification mark, earning him a berth at the London Games in 2012. Unfortunately, Schooling was unable to make it past the heats after he wasn’t allowed to use his normal swimming cap and goggles.

An impressive Southeast Asia Games followed in 2013, where he won five golds, but more was to come for Schooling.

The following year, he represented Singapore at the 2014 Asian Games and proceeded to win three more golds, before becoming the first Singaporean to win a swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games, taking silver in the 100m fly in Glasgow.

Nine gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games was followed up by an impressive campaign at the World Championships in Kazan. There, he participated in the 50m, 100m and 200m fly and reached the final of the 50m and 100m. While he finished a disappointing seventh in the 50m, his new Asian record time was only 0.28 seconds behind the winner, Florent Manaudou.


He was knocked out in the semi-finals of the 200m, but advanced to the championship final in the 100m.

Schooling had his nose in front at the split during the 100m event, but in the second half of the race Olympic champion Chad le Clos was a class apart and Schooling touched in a third place behind the South African and Laszlo Cseh. Schooling’s time, however, was good enough to hand him another national and continental record.


Major achievements:

World Championships: Bronze (1)
Commonwealth Games: Silver (1)
Asian Games: Gold (1), Silver (1), Bronze (1)
SEA Games: Gold (16), Silver (1), Bronze (1)

Catch the full story of Joseph Schooling and more on Icons of Asia, starting 31 March 12am HKT on FOX Sports Play