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Joseph Schooling gives Singapore its first ever Olympic gold medal

The Rio Olympics have celebrated the first-ever gold medals won by countries such as Vietnam, Fiji and Kosovo, and now Singapore has joined the party.
Joseph Schooling delivered the city-state its maiden Olympic gold in outstanding fashion, winning the men's 100 metres butterfly final in a Games record time of 50.39 seconds.
Schooling not only swam the butterfly sprint faster than anyone else had before at an Olympics, he also denied Michael Phelps a fourth-straight gold medal in the event.
The significance in claiming Singapore's first Olympic championship was not lost on the 21-year-old, who hopes he can be a trailblazer for a nation with little pedigree in competitive swimming.
"I hope this opens a new door, opens more doors for sports in our country and hopefully I set a precedent for a lot more guys to come up," Schooling said following his stunning triumph in Rio.

Singapore's medal record at the Olympics has hardly been extensive.
Tan Howe Liang was its first medallist when he won a weightlifting silver at the 1960 Rome Olympics, while table tennis provided three podium finishes across the 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London) Games.
Schooling has instantly become a national hero courtesy of his Rio victory and he wants his compatriots to use his example to inspire their own dreams of sporting glory on the international stage.
"It doesn't matter where you're from," he said.
"A lot of people believe that. I don't think I can say a lot of people, that would be a lie, [but] some people believe that Singapore has a lot of talent. I believe that."

Phelps 'excited' about Schooling's future

Schooling was not a surprise gold medallist in Rio, after performing strongly in international competition during the past two years.
He earned a silver medal in the 100 metres butterfly at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and took bronze at last year's world championships in Kazan.
His showing in Kazan put him further on the radar of Phelps, who amazingly was one of three swimmers who tied for the silver in Rio alongside South African Chad le Clos and Hungarian Laszlo Cseh.
Phelps had already been familiar with Schooling because of his ties with the US, where he is based at the University of Texas.
While disappointed not to win what would have been his fifth gold medal in Rio and a staggering 23rd overall, Phelps predicted Schooling would leave his mark on the sport well beyond these Games.
"I watched him swim last summer at worlds, so it's up to him where he wants to take it," he said.



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