JOHANNESBURG - Wrapping up the penultimate Swimming World Cup gala in Tokyo with two golds and two silver medals, Chad le Clos is one meet away from claiming the overall series for an unprecedented fourth time.
Le Clos was on fire in his specialist 200m butterfly event on the second day in the Land of the Rising Sun as he won in a time of one minute, 50.71 seconds (1:50.71).
The South African swimming sensation was 0.26 below world record pace at the halfway point but lost some speed over the second 100 metres.
He touched ahead of Japan’s Nao Horomura, who finished second in 1:51.37 with countryman Zhuhao Li bagging bronze with 1:51.57.
Le Clos came painstakingly close to adding the 200m freestyle to his pot of gold but he was narrowly edged out by Australia’s Cameron McEvoy.
McEvoy hit the wall first in a time of 1:43.37 with Le Clos following behind him in a time of 1:43.56. France’s Clement Mignon finished third in a time of 1:44.00.4
“I really wanted to go for it tonight, but it felt weird, Cameron attacked and good luck to him,” Le Clos told the FINA website.
“I’d love to win them all, but that was a good race. I’ve got to do a bit better now in Singapore and be a bit more consistent in that middle 75, it’s a bit of a grey area. It’s the toughest night in a while, but it’s been a good two days.”
Le Clos claimed his 27th consecutive victory in the 50m butterfly at the World Cup the night before, extending his unbeaten run in the event to four years.
He won the sprint event in a time of 22.49 with Belarusian Pavel Sankovich finishing behind him in 22.81. Le Clos added the 100m freestyle silver medal to his tally.
Russian swimmer Vladimir Morozov won the 100m freestyle in a time 45.65 with Le Clos following in 46.06.
Le Clos has the World Cup series all but wrapped up and will become the first male swimmer to be crowned overall winner for the fourth time at the final gala in Singapore over the weekend.