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Joseph Schooling, who won Olympic gold over Michael Phelps, retires from swimming

Singapore’s Joseph Schooling, who beat Michael Phelps in Phelps’ last individual Olympic race, has retired from swimming at age 28, according to his social media and Singapore’s aquatics federation.

“It is extremely strange,” to say the word “retired,” Schooling told Singapore’s Straits Times in a video interview. “I think I’ve had quite some time to mull over this moment, think about it, process it. So, right now, when I hear that word, it doesn’t take me aback as much. But, nonetheless, if you dedicated your whole life to something, yeah, stepping into another phase or another chapter, whichever you like to coin it, is definitely both scary, exciting.”

In 2016, Schooling handed Phelps his first defeat in an Olympic 100m butterfly to become Singapore’s first Olympic gold medalist.

Schooling clocked a then-Olympic record 50.39 seconds. Phelps shared silver in 51.14 with South African Chad le Clos and Hungarian Laszlo Cseh.

The next day, Phelps finished his competitive career with the U.S. men’s 4x100m medley relay, winning his 23rd gold medal and 28th medal.

Schooling then took bronze at the 2017 World Championships and was eliminated in the heats at the 2019 Worlds and the Tokyo Olympics.

His last competition was the May 2022 Southeast Asian Games, according to his World Aquatics profile.

Schooling swam in high school for the Bolles Sharks in Jacksonville, Florida, and was club teammates with Caeleb Dressel, who succeeded Schooling as Olympic 100m butterfly champion.

“I am filled with gratitude for every experience that swimming has brought into my life,” was posted on Schooling’s social media. “The victories were exhilarating, the defeats humbling, and together, they have forged a resilience in me that I will carry forward into my next chapter.”