Singapore’s Joseph Schooling has denied Michael Phelps a 23rd gold medal.
Phelps came second in the 100-metres butterfly and had to share silver with South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh in a remarkable three-way dead-heat.
The 21-year-old Schooling got Singapore’s first gold ever and set a new Olympic record.
The southeast Asian island nation of less than six million people had only won two silvers and two bronzes since it started competing in the Olympics in 1948.
“Its been a hard road, I’ve done something that no one in our country has done before. I’ve received a lot of support and that’s phenomenal,” Schooling told reporters.
“It’s been a tough road, I’m not going to lie, the first guy through the wall, it’s always bloody,” he said.
Well… That was nuts! Thank you for all the support and wishes. I'll seeya later rio 😀🏊🇸🇬… https://t.co/R6c2pPxk4M— Joseph Schooling (@joschooling) August 13, 2016
Like many of his contemporaries in Rio, who grew up idolising Phelps, he keeps an old photo of himself as a bespectacled teenager with the American that was taken at a meeting in Singapore after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Asked about Schooling, Phelps said: “I’m excited just to see how much faster he goes.”
“It’s up to him where he wants to take it. As big as he wants to dream, as hard as he wants to work, to do whatever is in his head.”