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Where EAST meets the Northwest


SINGAPOREíS SCHOOLING. It took a swimmer from one of the smallest countries in the region to finally end the streak of gold medals going to either China or Japan in the Asian Games pool. Singaporeís Olympic champion, Joseph Schooling, had an emphatic victory in the menís 100-meter butterfly final. By his own standards, Schooling was a touch slow to get off the blocks, but once he was in motion, he was unstoppable. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

From The Asian Reporter, V28, #17 (September 3, 2018), page 10.

Singaporeís Schooling ends golden streak for China and Japan

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) ó It took a swimmer from one of the smallest countries in the region to finally end the streak of gold medals going to either China or Japan in the Asian Games pool.

Singaporeís Olympic champion, Joseph Schooling, had an emphatic victory in the menís 100-meter butterfly final.

By his own standards, the 23-year-old Schooling was a touch slow to get off the blocks and resurface because he dove a little too deep, but once he was in motion, he was unstoppable.

He covered the first lap in 23.79 seconds, then powered home on the last length to win in 51.04 seconds, beating the Asian Games record of 51.76 he set when winning in Incheon four years ago.

It wasnít his best time or even close to his biggest win. They happened simultaneously when he beat Michael Phelps to win the Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro two years ago, but heís savvy enough to know it was still another big triumph for his southeast Asian nation.

"Itís all about standing up for your country and yourself and trying to get your hand on the wall first," Schooling said. "I had some jitters before, but thatís good, it shows Iím taking nothing for granted. Every gold is special, it has its own story."

Once the Singapore anthem was played out over the stadium speakers, normal service resumed with Japan and China splitting the other seven gold medals decided that day.

After losing the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, China officials figured they couldnít match Japanís sprinters in the 4x100 freestyle relay, so they gambled on bringing in Sun Yang, hoping he could produce something special.

He was on a scheduled day off after winning the 200, 400, and 800 on the first three days and with the 1,500 still to go when he got the call around midday.

He obliged, but it didnít make any difference as Japan pulled away to win.

"I swam great and we did everything we could, but the Japanese sprinters are simply faster at the moment." Sun said, "Thatís a fact."

China did win the mixed relay by little more than a fingernail, giving backstroker Xu Jiayu his third gold medal in Jakarta and butterflyer Zhang Yuefi her second in a little over an hour.

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