South African swimmer Chad le Clos claimed two silvers and a gold at the Hong Kong leg of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup on Saturday. Photo: www.fina.org

HONG KONG – South African swimmer Chad le Clos claimed two silvers and a gold at the Hong Kong leg of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup on Saturday.

Le Clos was beaten by Russia’s Vladimir Morozov in the 100m freestyle.

Morozov won a duel with Le Clos (46.10 seconds) in the 100m free, touching home in 45.91, before adding the 100m individual medley – but only after a tussle with home-crowd favourite Kenneth To.

Le Clos (1:50.28) was surprised in the 200m fly by Tom Shields (USA), who ended the first cluster fourth.

The American clocked 1:49.62, only dropping off the world-record pace set by Le Clos in 2013 in the final 50m.

The South African made it third time lucky on the night with a 22.52 swim ahead of Shields, home in 22.99, in the 50m fly, extending his remarkable run in the event.

“It was a good night. The 200m fly was the one I was most upset about, I was a little bit slow. The 100m free, I can’t complain.

“I’d like to have gone with Vlad, but it was a good time for me, so I’m very happy with that, and it was always going to be tough after two races so I just wanted to get the win – that’s four years undefeated now in the 50m fly short course. The last time I lost was Doha 2013,” said Le Clos.

This week, FINA announced an increase in prize money to $600 000 for the top three men and women at the end of the series in November, with half of that going to the two winners.

Previously, only the winners were going to be rewarded.

Prize money will also be extended to the top eight men and women at the remaining clusters, instead of six earlier.

African News Agency (ANA)