Joseph Schooling
Schooling won Singapore its first-ever Olympic gold medal in 2016 Reuters

South African swimmer Chad le Clos heaped praise on Joseph Schooling saying the Singapore swimmer has been showing a lot of potential in the recent past.

The most-decorated South African Olympian, who has won a gold and three silver medals at the Games, is in Singapore to compete in Fina/airweave Swimming World Cup, which will be at the OCBC Aquatic centre on Friday and Saturday.

Although he will not be competing against Schooling, who is reportedly in Texas for his university studies, in the two-day event, Le Clos revealed he is raring to have a go at him at the 2017 Fina World Championships in Budapest.

Following the retirement of American great Michael Phelps from the pool after the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 24-year-old South African added that an intense rivalry will grow between himself and Schooling.

"For the next six or seven years [we will have a great rivalry]. I am very excited about that. I definitely think Joseph has a lot of potential for sure, he's won an Olympic gold," Le Clos was quoted as saying by The New Paper.

"I am also very excited about the 100m fly next year [at the World Championships]. I would like to beat him there, of course"

Le Clos, after winning the gold in 200m butterfly at the London Games, went home without a gold from Rio de Janeiro this year. After finishing fourth in the event, which was won by Phelps, he was deprived of a finish on the top step of the podium in the 100m event as well.

The South African had to settle for a joint second-place finish with Phelps, Hungary's Laszlo Cseh after Schooling clinched Singapore's first ever gold medal at the Games in just 50.39s, which is an Olympic Record in the 100m butterfly event.

Josesph Schooling
Phelps, Le Clos and Laszlo finished joint-second behind Schooling Reuters

Describing his Rio Olympic journey, Le Clos added he was "smacked out of water" by Schooling in the 100m butterfly event and that the 200m race was one of his most disappointing performances. He also revealed he is gearing up to make a mark at next year's World Championships.

"I was very surprised [with the final], obviously I went into the race thinking that I could win, but he [Schooling] smacked us out of the water. I wouldn't say he caught us off guard, but he definitely stunned us a bit," the London Olympic gold-medallist added.

"That 200m fly race for me, was the worst of my career; I did a time that I did when I was 18.

"The 200m fly [at the 2017 World Championships] would be more important than anything else because it had to be done, but since the London Olympics I always felt that my 100m fly was my strongest race.

"So next year, the 100m fly would be very important for me as well. The next four to five years would be very good; with Joseph and myself."