Olympics: Rousing Welcome For Singapore Star Schooling
Muhammad Rameez Published August 15, 2016 | 03:20 PM
SINGAPORE, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Augst,2016) : Swimmer Joseph Schooling got a rapturous welcome, a selfie with the prime minister and a four-year exemption from military service when he came home in triumph early Monday with Singapore's first Olympic gold medal. "Joseph, I love you!" a fan screamed as he emerged into the arrivals hall wearing his gold medal and a red jacket. Some 500 people turned up before dawn to welcome Schooling, who set an Olympic record of 50.39sec when he beat his boyhood idol Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, in the men's 100m butterfly final in Rio at the weekend.
The 21-year-old also won a four-year exemption from compulsory military service so he can prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Games where he is expected to peak. Schooling already had a three-year deferment ending after Rio 2016, but his sensational performance made another extension a formality. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced he need not perform military service until after Tokyo 2020, wising him "continued success in the next Olympic Games." Only four other athletes - three in swimming and one in sailing -- have received such deferments.