Olympic champ Schooling back among SEA Games winners

Schooling checks his time on the scoreboard after touching the wall. (AP pic)

CLARK: Olympic champion Joseph Schooling lived up to his billing at Manila SEA Games today, claiming two gold medals in the pool.

The Singaporean clinched his pet 100m butterfly – which he famously won ahead of Michael Phelps at the Rio 2016 Olympics – in 51.84s, pipping his countryman Zheng Wen Quah.

Schooling, who won six gold medals at the last SEA Games in 2017, bounced back after losing his 50m title on Thursday, and solidified his standing as the region’s top swimmer by helping his nation win the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Just eight months away from the Tokyo Olympics, Schooling’s success heralds a welcome return to form after a difficult period for the 24-year-old, which included a placing of 24th in this year’s World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

His teammate Cherlyn Yeoh’s win in the women’s 200m freestyle capped a golden session for Singapore at the aquatics centre in New Clark City, the SEA Games’ main hub.

However, the republic’s football team were reportedly facing disciplinary action after breaking a curfew on the night of Dec 1, when they were said to have got back to their Manila hotel in the early hours of the morning.