8 August 2013
South African Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos was in world record-setting form on Wednesday evening at the Fina World Cup in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, as South African swimmers shone in short course action.
Competing in the 200 metres butterfly, Le Clos – who rose to fame by defeating the legendary Michael Phelps in the long course event at the London Olympics in 2012 – was in a league of his own.
Racing out front, he was chasing the world record of 1:49.11 and managed to better it with a mark of 1:49.04. Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov was a distant second, almost two seconds behind the South African star.
Myles Brown, who usually swims the 800 and 1 500 metres freestyle, moved up to the 400 metres and produced an outstanding performance.
He came close to defeating the favourite, Yannick Agnel, eventually finishing just 0.16 behind the Frenchman. His time was an African record of 3:37.91, which bettered the previous mark, set by Ryk Neethling in 2004, by a clear two seconds.
Roland Schoeman proved yet again that one should be judged on performance and not age. The 33-year-old sprint specialist raced to victory in the 50 metres breaststroke in a fast 25.85 seconds.
He followed that up with a silver medal in the 50 metres butterfly, finishing just behind the winner, Germany’s Steffen Deibler, in a time of 22.22 seconds. Le Clos placed third, clocking 22.62.
It has been a wonderful month for the 21-year-old Le Clos. At the Fina World Championships in Barcelona, he claimed two gold medals, doing the double in the 100 and 200 metres butterfly.
His achievements, along with those of Cameron van der Burgh (gold in the 50m breaststroke and silver in the 100m) and Giulio Zorzi (bronze in the 50m breaststroke), helped South Africa finish a high ninth on the medal table.
The next Fina World Cup event takes place in Berlin, Germany, on 10 and 11 August.