Le Clos reigns in Istanbul | SASCOC - SASCOC

Le Clos reigns in Istanbul

Chad le Clos won the men’s 100-metre butterfly at the short-course World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday night, reports Gareth Duncan.

His tournament preparations were hampered by illness, but the two-time Olympic medalist still delivered an impressive performance in the pool to win his third major prize of the year. This despite recording only the fifth fastest heat time of 50.16s on Wednesday.

Le Clos edged out Americans Thomas Shields (49.54) and Ryan Lochte (49.59) with a final time of 48.82s. This was only 0.34s slower than the world record. However, this was good enough break the tournament record.

The 20-year-old’s win received praise from senior colleague Cameron van der Burgh and now retired Olympic gold medallist Ryk Neethling. Van der Burgh missed the trip to Istanbul because of injury.

Van der Burgh tweeted: ‘Gold for SA! Well done @chadleclos Wish I could of been out there tonight racing as well! Can’t wait for next season.’

Neethling also mentioned: ‘Chad for the win in a new championship record. With all that’s been happening in SA since the Olympics that is quite an achievement.’

The 20-year-old’s feat was South Africa’s first gold medal at this year’s World Championship.

Also on Wednesday, Vanessa Mohr swam her way through to the semi-final of the women’s 50m butterfly, touching in a time of 26.16.

Not so lucky were the other SA swimmers in action with none of Karin Prinsloo, Lehesta Kemp (women’s 100m freestyle); Michael Meyer (men’s 400m individual medley); Marne Erasmus (women’s 50m butterfly); Leith Shankland (men’s 50m freestyle); Rene Warnes; Amanda Loots (women’s 100m individual medley), Jessica Pengelly and Michelle Weber (women’s 800m freestyle) coming through the heats.