Singapore’s 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist Joseph Schooling is set to reunite with his former coach Sergio Lopez in the United States.
In an exclusive interview with Straits Times, Schooling said, “Sergio and I go way back. He’s my high school coach and we have always had good camaraderie together, and developed a really good relationship.
“I had this training trip planned to go (train with Lopez) right after the SEA Games was over. I spent two and a half weeks over there and it was great.
“I got my motivation back, started thinking a little differently, started to approach practices and hard sets with a more positive attitude also. And I liked it more and more.
“I kept constantly asking myself, ‘Is this a place that I need, to take my swimming to the next level heading into the Olympics?’ And every day that answer got a little more clear. I just like what Sergio does on a personal level, but also in the pool, and I think he inspires me to be the best version that I can be on a day to day basis.”
The duo worked at The Bolles School in Florida from 2010 to 2014.
Lopez spent a year as Singapore’s head coach from 2015 to 2016.
Schooling’s rival in the 100m fly is American Caeleb Dressel.
Said Schooling, “It’s going to take at least 49-mid to 49-low to win. It is going to take a lot quicker than what I swam in Rio to win.
“My form is a lot better… And right now, I’m killing it in practice. It’s really been a turnaround in the last six or seven weeks since the Philippines.
“Did I think that I could get to this point that quickly? Probably not. I attribute all these to Sergio and the coaches over here for carrying out what he believes I should be doing. The encouragement and the support from the coaches here has been phenomenal.”
Photo: Joseph Schooling’s Twitter