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Five things to know about Singapore's Olympic champion Joseph Schooling

SINGAPORE: Joseph Schooling made history for Singapore when he won the country's first Olympic gold medal at the Rio Games in 2016.

He had beaten US legend Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly, at the age of 21.

Eight years later, Schooling announced his retirement on Tuesday (Apr 2) to turn his focus on growing his swim school. 

Here are five things to know about the Singapore swim star. 

By 2014, Schooling had two SEA Games appearances (2011, 2013) and multiple golds at the regional meet under his belt.

He then made major waves in 2014, when he became the first Singaporean to win a swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Months later, he won the men’s 100m butterfly event at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in a Games record time. This was Singapore’s first gold in the pool at the Games for over two decades. Schooling also took bronze in the 200m butterfly and silver in the 50m butterfly.

But to get there, he had to first overcome the disappointment of his Olympic Games debut in 2012.

Just before his 200m butterfly heats in London, Schooling's swim cap and goggles were rejected for failing to meet Olympic regulations. He finished 26th overall and did not qualify for the semi-finals. He did not advance from the 100m heats either, finishing 35th.

Schooling followed his 2014 successeswith a whopping nine golds at the 2015 SEA Games, before making history later that year with a bronze - Singapore’s first - at the swimming world championships

While Schooling’s name is written in Singapore sporting annals, he does not have the honour of being the first Olympian in the family.

That distinction instead belongs to Schooling’s granduncle Lloyd Valberg, who competed at the 1948 London Games in the high jump. Valberg was the first athlete

Read more on channelnewsasia.com