JOHANNESBURG - Chad le Clos is one step closer to clinching an unprecedented fourth FINA Swimming World Cup series title after winning the first two of three clusters.
The South African swimming sensation was in a class of his own winning six medals out of as many individual races on the Doha leg, bagging four gold and two silver.
Le Clos opened the gala with two gold medals in the 50m and 200m butterfly on Wednesday before adding four more medals on the second night.
Going into the Doha gala, Le Clos and American arch-rival Tom Shields were tied to claim the second cluster but the South African was in a different class in the Qatari capital.
Every touch at the wall turned into gold as he started his harvest last night by winning the 200m freestyle in one minute, 44.40 seconds (1:44.40).
Shields followed behind in a time of 1:45.02 with Kyle Stolk of the Netherlands bagging the bronze in 1:45.77.
Cameron van der Burgh offered a reprieve from the Le Clos show by winning the 100m breaststroke in 56.11 secs to add to the gold in the 50m distance from the day before.
Russia’s Kirill Prigoda provided some competition but again had to be content with the silver medal following in Van der Burgh’s wake and posting a time of 56.31 secs.
Le Clos continued on his medal-winning run in the next race hitting the wall first in the 100m butterfly to clinch his fourth individual gold of the gala.
He started out fast and managed to hold off a late challenge by Shields to finish first in a time of 50.17 secs to the 50.30 secs by the American.
In his third race of the evening Le Clos bowed the knee in the 50m freestyle against Russia’s Vladimir Mozorov, who is one of the South African’s main rivals for the series title.
Mozorov raced home in a time of 20.98 secs with Le Clos finishing second in the splash-and-dash in a time of 21.50 secs.
Highlighting his incredible versatility, Le Clos tied for second with Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki in the 200m backstroke touching the wall at the same time in 1:51.02.
Germany’s Christian Diener just managed to hold off the duo to claim the gold in medal in a time of 1:50.96.
Such a big night 2golds 2 silvers and one PB in 200back, thanks for the unbelievable support everyone 💪🇿🇦🙏 off to turkey for training camp