After a difficult 2021, Joseph Schooling considers the SEA Games while embracing national service


Now in professional training in the Navy, enlistment is a new experience for the former Olympic champion. The 26-year-old signed up for national service in January this year.

“Life in the army was okay, interesting, but adapted well to it with my bandmates. It’s all about the vibe, as I’ve learned. So if you really love and manage with your batch mates, life gets a whole lot better,” Schooling explained.

“The first two weeks were crazy. But after that, they were kind of like, ‘Hey, you’re one of the guys, you really don’t have any air on you, like… you’re just there to do your time like anybody else. Once they see that, they’re like, “Okay, this guy’s pretty cool.” And from there, start having real conversations .”

While the age gap between himself and his peers and superiors in the military is quite large, Schooling said he was enjoying his time there.

“If you commit to the process and don’t fight the journey, it can actually be a lot of fun,” he said.

“The BMT (Basic Military Training) was good. At present, vocational training in the Navy is also good. On the swimming side (she) was good. I enjoy the atmosphere with all the coaches, with my teammates too. And honestly, 2022 – although the clock is ticking – has been good and I can’t really complain.”

Schooling competed in their first encounter since the Tokyo Olympics at the 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier in March.

There he clocked 52.09 seconds in the 100m butterfly final, his best time in more than two years. This means he has reached the “A” cups for the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games to be held later this year.

The school also met the qualifying times in the 50m butterfly event for both Games.

Since he was unable to train for SNAG while undergoing BMT, he said it was “huge” to clock the times he did.

“Considering all the circumstances unfolding outside, I thought it was a great performance. At the start of the week, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to do the Asian Games, but to be able to love stepping up and doing that, I think it was a great stepping stone to take you to the next level,” he added.

“Anyway, just having fun. Swimming for a different reason beats swimming hell because I tried to prove a point.”

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