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What SGP sports can learn from Joseph Schooling

There have been encouraging words for Joseph Schooling and Singaporeans after the Olympic champion failed to defend his 100m fly title at the Tokyo Games yesterday.

That he failed to make the semis did not really come as a surprise. Chatting with fellow veteran journalists more than a year ago, we didn’t think Joe could win again.

That assessment came after he showed up at the 2019 SEA Games overweight. It also came as swimmers like Caeleb Dressel were posting better times in the 100m fly.

Without a doubt, Joe has done Singapore proud when he won gold at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016. It was unprecedented for any Singaporean, native or naturalised. He opened the door to possibilities for Singapore sportsmen and women.

The way forward now is to learn from Joe how he managed his Brazilian feat. More, importantly, Singapore sports must also learn why he was unable to repeat it in Tokyo or at other competitions on the world stage.

For one, his circumstances are unlike Dressel or multi-world and Olympic champion Michael Phelps. They have an eco-system that keeps them on their toes, competing regularly at the very top level that made sure they were battle-ready constantly.

Joe does not have this benefit because it would have meant that he inserted himself into the US eco-system. It would also have meant a huge investment that has already drained the Schooling family on their own up to Rio de Janeiro.

It takes a village with the right eco-system, including training and high-level competitions, to raise a world champion, especially for sports like swimming and athletics. Singapore just doesn’t have this.

This is something going forward that Sport Singapore and Singapore Inc will have to study, if we are to raise another Joe Schooling.

 

* Facebook post by Ian De Cotta.

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

13 Responses to “What SGP sports can learn from Joseph Schooling”

  • $Huat$ $Huat$ $Huat$:

    Just because he won before, he must and should win again? Anybody else want to step forward? And not just swimming.

    We should be happy that Schooling did win a gold. Expecting him to win again is unrealisric.

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  • Billy ma:

    Nobody is guaranteed to win, let alone a repeated gold medal performance.

    He did well to just go to another Olympics.

    Anyway, he had set the milestone for the whole country.
    There may not be an Olympic gold medalist for Singapore in the next 5 editions.

    Well done to all our representatives.

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  • flickshit:

    He has to blame himself lah….. and ask why he loses.

    I think, he is more money mind. His mother used his status to have a training centre to trains these young children to swim by getting part-time coaches to teach these children, but Schooling is not involved or on the background to do the coaching or training.

    So how can he maintain his swimming status ??

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  • Reality:

    Reality is there is no way he can beat the best again…or be like the consistent Michael Phelps.No surprise.

    Many things need to be in place to keep performing at that high level.

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  • NS kills medals:

    The thought of upcoming ns is enough to kill off all Olympic dreams. sian lah. no mood to train.

    Even countries much smaller than us can win medals. No more excuses. Leaders are worse than useless.

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  • Be REAL:

    Too bad that is the reality of sports especially at the international level. Best of the bests win!

    What’s disgusting is the way pappies akways jump into the bandwagon to use and bask in its glorification for wayangs.

    Like olivio lame’s Hyflop, pinky will dump JS soon from ND rally if he cannot deliver the goodies for him to showcase.

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  • ah chik:

    Maybe we should try to win medals for being the best country in terms of wellbeing as we have HIGH GDP PER CAPITA?
    WHY ELDERLY SGS COMMIT SUICIDE AT ALL?
    HIGH GDP PER CAPITA ,YET NOTHING FOR THESE OLD N FEEBLE AMONG US?

    PM LEE,WHAT IS YOUR REAL KPI?
    DO REFLECT.

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  • Smart Nation:

    Celebrate your victory; accept your defeat if it is fair competition.
    If you are good, remember that there will be another who is better that will come along. Questions: Why is SG betting on “lao bei” (old horse) when other countries can produce fresh faces and youthful athletes at every Olympics? What is the Sports Council doing to groom young local athletes for the Olympics? What is our sports academy doing? So many Ministers have made their “tour of duty” over the years, but there seems to be no improvement.

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  • Smart Nation:

    I think the athletes knew where they stood in relation to other competitors and what their chances were at winning even before arriving in Tokyo. Some may have gone there to participate without much hope of winning. It is the thrill and the experience of being at the Games even if nothing comes out of it. I think the country should only field in athletes that are highly competitive and ranked with the top best. Don’t waste tax-payers’ money.

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  • raymond1705:

    Once an olympic gold medalist,
    but when he began to be under PAP stable payroll, stable monthly salary, ruled under PAP style of management, rigid discipline training regime,

    he started to lose aspiration, drive, motivation, and the urge to excel at world competitive arena.

    The same applies to STTA’s umbrella of table tennis dream team, falter, and fade away after a few olypic winnings, deteriorating compare to the previous olympics.

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  • Be worthy:

    raymond1705:
    Once an olympic gold medalist,
    but when he began to be under PAP stable payroll, stable monthly salary, ruled under PAP style of management, rigid discipline training regime,

    he started to lose aspiration, drive, motivation, and the urge to excel at world competitive arena.

    The same applies to STTA’s umbrella of table tennis dream team, falter, and fade away after a few olypic winnings, deteriorating compare to the previous olympics.

    Agree 100%.

    Same with those white shirts who managed or parachuted into the million dollars food chain.

    They ultimately become yes men, lack fighting spirit, dragging their feet along, not rocking the boat and turn out either mediocre or sub par work to stay on the payroll.

    Just take East Coast man as an example. Got promoted and then cleverly thrown in the towel because of short runway.

    Now this chap is smiling widely and enjoying an abundant life till kingdom comes.

    Disgusting!

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  • I should be Sports Minster:

    I declare this is my solution for sg getting medals in every olympics:

    1. Issue citizenship to all young medallists of this games.

    Out of these, a few will take up if the offer if attractive enough.

    Like this, how can sg not get at least a medal in every olympics.

    I have shared this in public
    Domain and no one must use my solution without honoring me.
    Kekeke

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  • Dr Hoe:

    Things are no different from the ‘support’ for Ang Peng Siong and his father the great Ang Teck Bee. Shame on Singapore Sports.

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