Singaporean schools idol Phelps for historic gold medal

Joseph Schooling has upstaged the great Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly to win Singapore's first-ever Olympic gold medal.

Asian champion Schooling, 21, completed a wire-to-wire victory to deny Phelps a fourth successive title in the event, winning in a Games record 50.39sec.

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Phelps, the defending champion and world record holder, finished second in a three-way dead heat with two of his greatest rivals -- South Africa's Chad Le Clos and Hungary's Laszlo Cseh.

Astonishingly, all three touched out in 51.14 seconds, behind Schooling's Olympic record 50.39.

What a moment. Image: Getty

Schooling, who took bronze at last year's world championships, punched the water and roared with delight as Phelps swam over to pat him on the back before le Clos ruffled the youngster's hair.

"I'm just ecstatic. I don't think it has set in yet. It's just crazy," said Schooling, 21.

"It's 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."

Phelps and Schooling. Image: Getty

Singapore has won four Olympic medals, three in table tennis and one in weightlifting, but none of those have been gold.

Schooling was just 13 years old when he first met his idol Phelps, but he was already hatching the plans that led to one of the greatest boilovers in Olympic swimming history.

Neither Schooling or Phelps knew it at the time, but that brief encounter helped inspire Schooling to not only win Singapore's first Olympic gold medal but also slay his childhood hero.

Phelps only qualified fifth fastest, but he did so after swimming the 200m IM final, then having to run from the medal ceremony almost virtually straight to the blocks for the 100m butterfly semis.

He misses out on a 23rd gold in what could be the final swim of his career.

The historic gold for Singapore comes just one day after Fiji claimed their first-ever medal, also gold, in the rugby sevens.

with AAP and AFP

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