JOHANNESBURG - Racing from the outer lane Chad le Clos produced a peerless performance in his pet 200m butterfly event at the Budapest leg of the Swimming World Cup on Friday evening.
Le Clos added his second gold medal of the three-day gala confirming his return to form. The South African sensation was the slowest qualifier from the morning heats but he demonstrated he could win from anywhere in the pool.
Le Clos was out of the blocks like a man possessed taking the lead to win the race from start to finish in a time of 1:50.29. He beat a top-class field in the process and was under world-record pace for the majority of the race.
The four-time Olympic medalist out-touched Japanese-duo Daiya Seto (1:51.01) and Yuya Yajima (1:51.80). Seto posted the fastest last 50-metre split but Le Clos’ blistering swim in the first three-quarters of the race was too good for anyone to catch him in the end.
Le Clos got the first night of the gala off to a golden start when he beat France’s Mehdy Metella in the 100m butterfly event. He hit the wall in first place with a time of 49.22 seconds while Metella finishing 0.49s behind Le Clos with Brazilian Nicholas Santos bagging the bronze in a time of 50.12.
Fellow South African Ryan Coetzee had to be content with eighth place posting a time of 51.54. Commonwealth Games silver medallist Brad Tandy also added to the South African contingent’s medal tally finishing third in the 50m freestyle final on Thursday evening.
Flying Russian Vladimir Morozov won the race in 20.51 with Great Britain’s Ben Proud following in second place in 20.89 with Tandy rounding off the podium in third with 21.06.