Day seven of the Rio Olympics may have witnessed a change of guard in the swimming world as Singapore’s Joseph Schooling beat his idol, and the favourite, Michael Phelps to win gold in the men’s 100m butterfly event.
Schooling’s time of 50.39 seconds set a new Olympic record while Phelps finished joint second with Chad le Clos of South Africa and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, with a time of 51.14 seconds.
Schooling, 21, who left home at the age of 14 to train in the US, became Singapore’s first Olympic gold medallist.
In the women’s 800m freestyle, Katie Ledecky smashed her own world record by 2 seconds to win her fourth gold of the Games—three individual and one in relay. She has also won a silver in 4x100m freestyle relay. She led from start to finish and her time of 8 minutes and 4.79 seconds gave her a 11.38-second margin of victory over Britain's Jazmin Carlin.
Meanwhile, in the women’s 200m backstroke, USA’s Madeline Dirado caused a major upset by beating Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu to win her final individual event before retiring. Hosszu, who led for about 180m, was caught in final seconds and Dirado managed to touch first to win by a margin of 0.06 seconds.
Dirado, 23, has a degree from Stanford in management science and engineering, and is retiring from competitive swimming to focus on a career in management.
Earlier in the day, American Anthony Ervin, 35, won the men’s 50m freestyle to become the oldest swimmer ever to win an individual gold medal. His time was 21.40 seconds.