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High five as Le Clos dominates Singapore World Cup
- Updated: November 7, 2013
Chad Le Clos dashed to a stunning overall haul of five gold medals at the Singapore World Cup on Wednesday to take a virtually unassailable lead in the series standings.
The South African, who broke his own 200-metre butterfly short course world record on Tuesday’s first day of competition, added the 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley titles ÔÇô winning every race he entered, reports SAPA-AFP.
“Last night was a very good night for me, probably the best night I’ve had in short-course, and tonight was just about racing good competitors to see where I’m at,” said the South African, 21.
“The butterfly and freestyle were very, very close. I’m just really happy with tonight. Two years ago I got six gold medals, so I’ll take 11 from 11!”
Hungary’s Katrina Hosszu also finished her gruelling two-day programme of 11 races with five victories after winning the 400m and 100m individual medleys and the 100m backstroke on the final evening.
But Hosszu admitted the tough schedule got the better of her as she finished last in her final event, the 50m butterfly, at Singapore Sports School.
“I already swam four times and it was really close but I still like to get up and race and try my best,” said Hosszu, who is building up to the European short-course championships next month. “It definitely gives me good experience of how it feels when I’m really tired.”
Both swimmers enjoy a big lead in the points table, with little realistic chance they will be caught in the eight-stop series’ final two legs in Tokyo and Beijing.
Le Clos’s fellow South African Myles Brown opened proceedings with a masterful win in the men’s 1500m, going neck-and-neck with Gergely Gyurta before surging at the close to win by two seconds.
Le Clos looked way off the pace in the men’s 200m freestyle as Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes took a big lead from halfway. But the South African star stormed home in a thrilling finish to snatch gold by just 18-hundredths of a second.
It was a similar story in the 100m butterfly as the reigning long-course world champion came from fourth position at 50 metres to win it by five-hundredths from Poland’s Konrad Czerniak.
And he ended a triumphant visit to Singapore with a win from the front in the 200m individual medley, despite nearly being caught in the penultimate breaststroke leg.
Le Clos said afterwards that he was now trying to build his repertoire to approach the feats of versatile American great Michael Phelps at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s a race I want to try to compete in, maybe in 2016,” he said of the 200m freestyle. “I want to try to do the same as Phelps. He did the 200m freestyle and he won gold in Beijing.
“It’s just a wild shot, to see what I can do in the freestyle and hopefully try to add to my programme. I just want to challenge myself as much as possible.”