The Texas Longhorns have been well represented at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The latest student-athlete to find the medal podium is Joseph Schooling in Olympic swimming as the 21-year-old won gold in the 100-meter butterfly.
Schooling secured his first Olympic medal representing Singapore with a dominant run through the competition. He led all qualifiers through the preliminary and semifinal rounds to secure the top seed in the finals. His time of 50.39 was not only a personal best, but also an Olympic record. He improved on his previous personal best which he set in the semifinals.
This was exactly the kind of performance that Schooling needed in a highly competitive race that ended with a three-way tie for second place. Michael Phelps, Chad le Clos, and László Cseh all finished the race with a time of 51.14 seconds, just behind Schooling’s record setting time. After the race, Phelps commended Schooling, saying: “My hat’s definitely off to him.”
The win has to be particularly sweet for Schooling who secures the first ever gold medal for Singapore. In addition to making history in his native Singapore, he beat his childhood idol, Phelps. In fact, Schooling still has a picture that he took with Phelps from back in 2008 when Team USA was training in Singapore. Phelps would go on to win a record eight gold medals at those Olympic games.
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Schooling’s performance continues a strong showing from Texas swimmers in Rio. Earlier this week, Townly Haas paced the US Team in the 200-meter freestyle relay to a gold medal. Before that, Jimmy Feigen became the first Horn to medal for his contribution to a 100-meter freestyle relay gold for Team USA. Overall, Texas athletes have won six gold medals at these Olympic games.