SINGAPORE: Fresh off a 2km swim in Marina Bay on Sunday (Aug 20), Joseph Schooling was asked the question on many people’s minds. When is his next competition?
“I just finished one,” said the former Olympic champion with a laugh. “I can’t say yet, I don’t know. I’m excited to keep this fitness regime going, this training regime, so let’s see.”
Speaking to reporters after competing in the inaugural Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) Asian Open, Schooling said that he was still thinking about what the future would hold when it comes to swimming.
“I’m still thinking about it, let’s see. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to give you guys a more direct answer sooner rather than later. But for right now, I’m just enjoying the atmosphere, getting out over here, reminding myself how much fun it can be racing,” he said.
While Sunday’s race came with “little” expectation, Schooling said that it was all about going as hard as he could, and he was happy because he’d accomplished that
The 28-year-old was part of a relay team which competed in the 100km “experienced amateur” triathlon race comprising a 2km swim, an 80km bike ride and an 18km run. Five teams consisting Team Singapore athletes such as Schooling featured in the race.
This was the second day of competition at the PTO Asian Open, with Australian triathlete Ashleigh Gentle winning the Women’s pro triathlon event on Saturday.
“It was nice to be in a race atmosphere in terms of nutrition, sleep time. Something I really missed as well,” he said. “To get up here, maybe go 20 times when I’m used to in terms of racing distance, out of my comfort zone – that was fun. So yeah, I did miss it.”
“DEFINITELY A BUMMER”
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Schooling will not be competing at the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou.
The 28-year-old was excluded from the final list of athletes set to represent Team Singapore at the Sep 23 to Oct 8 event. The contingent comprising 431 athletes was announced on Saturday (Aug 5).
“It definitely was a bummer … Like the SEA Games and Asian Games, I think any meet that you can’t get into, it definitely weighs on you,” said Schooling.
“But at the same time, there’s always something else, you know. So at the end of the day, I’ll be cheering my team on as hard as I can. It’s a pity I can’t be at (Hangzhou) but at the end of the day, I’m sure they’ll bring back a lot of medals, and we’ll will be equally as proud. I’m looking forward to that.”