Cover Joseph Schooling of Team Singapore competes in the Men's 100m Butterfly heats on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo: Getty Images)

Joseph Schooling finished last in his heat after clocking a time of 53.12s. "It's hard to swallow, it's hard to digest, but at the same time ... you live to fight another day. And I sure as hell don't want to end it like this, it's just one of those meets," the swimmer said post-race

Singapore’s favourite athlete and Olympic champion, Joseph Schooling, will unfortunately not be getting a chance to defend his men’s 100m butterfly title after the swimmer failed to qualify for the semi-finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on July 29. 

See more: Tokyo 2020 Olympics: When to Watch and Support Team Singapore Olympians in Action

Schooling put up a good fight but unfortunately finished last in his heat after clocking a time of 53.12s. Only the top 16 will qualify for the semi-finals of the event.

“It’s a very disappointing performance overall, but there’s always another one. It’s not going to end like this,” he said. “Sometimes that’s how it is. It’s hard to swallow and digest. But at the same time, I live to fight another day.”

Schooling also competed at the men’s 100m freestyle heats on July 27 earlier this week where he clocked 49.84 seconds which was, again, not good enough for him to advance to the semi-finals as one of the top 16 swimmers. As a result, he did not qualify for the men’s 100m freestyle semi-finals.

The national swimmer’s loss may be disappointing for fans and fellow countrymen who were hoping for the athlete to possibly bring home another Olympic medal. The young talent had stunned the world by setting a new Olympic record and winning the Gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

See more: Team Singapore at Tokyo 2020 Olympics: All the Highlights So Far