SEPANG: Media representatives were left disappointed when Singaporean Olympic champion Joseph Schooling did not show up as the island state’s swimming team for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) arrived here today.
The group, who had waited for him at KL International Airport (KLIA) since 10am, was told by a Singaporean representative that the 22-year-old swimmer was not with his teammates.
The Olympic gold medalist has been criticised for his “teaching them a thing or two” remark which was misconstrued.
Schooling upset American swimming legend Michael Phelps in the men’s 100m butterfly at the Rio Olympics last year.
The Games’ swimming events are scheduled from Aug 21 to 26 at the National Aquatic Centre in KL Sports City, Bukit Jalil.
The 29th edition of the Games officially opens on Aug 19 until 30, with 404 sporting events across 38 sports.
Meanwhile, members of the Singaporean water polo and archery teams also landed at KLIA today.
Singapore’s aquatic team manager Edwin Ker said that the men’s team were confident of retaining their gold medal won at the Singapore SEA Games two years ago while the women’s squad were equally determined to recover from the disappointment of losing to Thailand at their home ground two years ago.
“Our target is the gold. May the best team win,” he told reporters at KLIA.
As for the archery team, its leader Wong Liang Peng said they were eyeing to collect as many gold medals in every category as possible.
“We’ve been training since the beginning of the year, six times a week. They were also sent to South Korea for the final preparation,” she said.
The water polo event will be held from Aug 15 to 20 while archery is from Aug 16 to 22 and both will be taking place at KL Sports City. — Bernama