Joseph Schooling wins Singapore’s first ever Olympic gold medal at Rio

Joseph Schooling has won Singapore’s first gold medal after beating former Olympic winner, Micheal Phelps at the 100m butterfly event at Rio Olympics 2016 on Saturday (13 August).

The finals were held at 9.10 am Singapore time. Schooling completed the race in just 50.39s which broke the Olympics Games record. He beat the previous record of 50.58s by Michael Phelps in 2008 Olympics Games held in Beijing.

This is the first time the country had won a gold medal since the first time the Olympics Games was held in 1948.

The country has won 5 Olympics medals in total. The first time the country won the medal was when Tan Howe Liang won silver in lightweight weightlifting in 1960.

The second medal was won by a Women’s Table Tennis team in 2008 Beijing Olympics when Li Jiawei, together with Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu, beat the South Korea Women’s Table Tennis team. The team won silver medal and ended the 48-year Olympic medal drought.

In the 2012 London Olympics, Feng Tianwei beat Japan in Table Tennis Women’s Single earning the country the bronze medal. The Table Tennis Women’s Team, Li Jiawei, together with Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu, also won the bronze medal, after beating South Korea team. This is the first time the country won two medals in a single Olympics game.

In 2008, Schooling’s mother, May Schooling, asked the government to allow her son to defer his National Service responsibility so that he could train uninterrupted in his quest to win a medal at the Rio Olympics. Schooling was the first athlete to be allowed to defer the responsibility.

In 2010, Schooling went to the USA to train under Spanish coach Sergio Lopez, who would later become Singapore’s national head coach in 2015.

In 2012, Schooling made his first Olympics debut in London as the youngest member of the Singapore’s contingent. He did not qualify for the semi-finals at the time due a last minute scramble to get replacement goggles.

On 15 September 2015, Yip Pin Xiu became the first Singaporean to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games held in Beijing by winning the 50m backstroke event. Two days before that, Yip also won a silver medal for 50m freestyle. She also set two world records at the games.

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