TOKYO • Today, the Tokyo Olympics promise to be a decisive factor for Singapore’s sports as swimmer Joseph Schooling begins the defense of his 100m butterfly title while paddler Yu Mengyu is within reach. silverware.
World No. 47 Yu faces China’s top-ranked Chen Meng in the women’s table tennis singles semifinals at 10 a.m. (Singapore time).
The victory will mean Yu, 31, will advance to the gold medal game at 8 p.m. today and a guaranteed podium place. Lose and she heads to the playoffs for the bronze medal.
Schooling, 26, then takes the stage tonight at the Tokyo Aquatic Center.
He will be in lane 8 of round 5 (start 6:54 pm) and will have to clock a time that is in the top-16 to qualify for the semi-finals on Friday morning. There are 59 competitors over eight rounds.
While he holds the Olympic record of 50.39 seconds, set at the Rio 2016 Games, his recent form has been indifferent. His best effort this year was a modest 52.93 seconds while his rivals, American Caeleb Dressel and Hungarian Kristof Milak, were much faster.
Dressel’s best time this year is 49.76 seconds while Milak’s is 50.18 seconds.
Based on the Tokyo 2020 100m butterfly entry list, the Schooling qualifying time of 51.84 seconds – set at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines – places it 32nd. His teammate Quah Zheng Wen, at 51.87 seconds, is in one place and will be in heat 4 (18:51).
• The Straits Times will be posting Yu’s matches and the 100m fly rounds live on straitstimes.com.