JOHANNESBURG – It was a smaller harvest than he’s reaped before, but Chad le Clos still managed to win three gold medals at the Beijing leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup.
His bid to become the first male swimmer to win four World Cup Series titles is still on track, though, after winning the 50m and 100m butterfly races as well as the 200m freestyle.
Le Clos is the leading man in the eight-leg series where he regularly claims half-a-dozen medals at the galas.
On Saturday he won the 50m butterfly to add to his gold medals in the 100m fly and 200m freestyle on Friday.
The South African sensation was a dominant force in three of his four races, winning the 50m butterfly by 0.38 seconds over his nearest rival.
He touched first in the sprint event in a time of 22.22 seconds, with Andrii Govorov of the Ukraine following behind him in 22.60 and Chinese swimmer Qibin Zhang bagging bronze in 22.88.
Le Clos had to be content with a fifth place finish in the 50m freestyle with a time of 21.39.
He was on fire the night before winning the 100m butterfly two seconds ahead of Belarussian Yauhen Tsurkin with a time of 49.18. Tsurkin followed behind him in 51.18, with China’s Jiayu Xu finishing in third place in 51.52.
Turning in another dominant performance, Le Clos raced to victory in the 200m freestyle clocking 1:41.81, China’s Xinjie Ji following in his wake in 1:42.49. New Zealand’s Matthew Stanley rounded off the podium in 1:43.68.
Le Clos has won the first two clusters and will be looking to win the last one consisting of three galas over the next 10 days.