USA’s Michael Phelps has lauded Joseph Schooling after the Singaporean made history at the Olympics on Friday.
Schooling defeated Phelps in the 100m butterfly final to become the first Singaporean athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics. He also set an Olympic record with his time of 50.39s
Phelps finished in a tie for second Chad le Clos of South Africa and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary.
Upon finishing the race, Phelps revealed that he had no idea he had clocked the same time as Le Clos and Cseh, but admitted that it was an incredible feat.
“[Joseph Schooling] is tough. He had a great year last year and has had a really great last two years so hats off to him. He swam a great race,” Phelps told reporters. “No, I don’t know if I have been in a tie. A three-way tie is pretty wild. It’s faster than I went, I think, four years ago to win.
“It’s wild. Chad and I have had some races over the last four years and Laszlo and I – I can’t even remember when our first race was. Probably as long as Ryan [Lochte] and I. So kind of special and a decent way to finish my last race. I can’t complain too much.”
Phelps, who now has 28 Olympic medals, with 22 of them being gold, will complete his illustrious career by competing in Saturday night’s medley relay.
The 31-year-old has made it clear that he has no intention of competing at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo even though American swimmer Ryan Lochte hinted that he would.
“I will just clarify that Ryan doesn’t know what he is talking about,” he said. “I am not coming back in four years.
“I have two laps left in my career, so I am happy and I’m excited and looking forward to tomorrow. I saw (what Lochte said) and I was like ‘thanks Ryan, throw me back out there for another four years.’ If he wants to come back it will be great.”