Just when you think you're tough enough


Joseph Isaac Schooling wins Olympic Gold for Singapore

Singapore’s first ever Olympic Gold medal is won by underdog 21-year-old Joseph Isaac Schooling!

Men’s 100m Butterfly Gold – Joseph Schooling, SIN Silver: Michael Phelps, USA – Chad Le Clos, RSA – Laszlo Cseh, HUN

On Saturday morning (Aug 13), the 21-year-old clinched gold in the men’s 100m butterfly final in a new Olympic record time of 50.39sec, defeating 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps from the United States, South Africa’s Chad le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who all finished joint-second in 51.14sec.

Schooling was in a state of disbelief when he spoke to reporters soon afterwards. “I’m sorry if I don’t seem like I’m full of emotions but I don’t know what to believe – that I actually did it or I’m still preparing for my race,” he said. “I’m between the two of them.”

“I need to let this moment sink in, realise what I’ve done and then I’ll have a better understanding of what I accomplished,” Scololing said. “But right now all I can say is I’m really honoured and privileged to have an opportunity to race in an Olympic final alongside huge names like Michael (Phelps), Chad (Le Clos), and Laszlo (Cseh), guys that have redefined the sport.”

Schooling said Phelps shared some words after the race. “He said, ‘Good job, that was a great race’. I told him, ‘Four more years?’ and he said, ‘No way.’ If he changes his mind, that would be fun. I like racing Michael.”


Not only did the 21-year-old Schooling win his country’s first Olympic title in its history, he beat the greatest Olympian ever – Michael Phelps, also Schooling’s idol! The same man he had grown up idolising, as this old photo from 2008 demonstrated.

And yes, the whole of Singapore rejoices!