Chad le Clos’ quest for fifth straight World Short Course gold still alive
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Cape Town - Hours after claiming a bronze medal in the 200m butterfly, Chad le Clos was back in the pool on the second day of the World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
The former Olympic champion got his quest for a fifth straight gold in the 100m butterfly off to a positive start by qualifying for the final. He was somewhat off his best in the heats, finishing fourth in 50.47 to progress to the semi-final 11th fastest overall.
But the former world record-holder in the event stepped it up in the evening’s semi-final, winning the race in a much speedier 49.56, just four hundredths of a second ahead of 19-year-old Egyptian Youssef Ramadan.
That saw him qualifying second fastest for Saturday night’s final behind Italy’s Matteo Rivolta who won the other semi-final in 49.07.
Meanwhile, the evening’s finals were highlighted by another world record, this time in the women’s 4x50m medley relay. The Swedish team of sisters Louise and Sophie Hansson, Sarah Sjostrom and Michelle Coleman powered to victory in 1:42.38 to equal the previous mark set by the USA at the 2018 Championships in China.
Earlier in the day, South African Michaela Pulford finished sixth in her 800m freestyle heat, but her time of 8:41.94 was not enough to see her through to Saturday’s final.
Another of South Africa’s swimmers in Abu Dhabi, Tayla Lovemore, will get her Short Course World Championships campaign under way on Saturday morning in the heats of the 50m butterfly. 2018 bronze medallist Brad Tandy will also be in action in the 50m freestyle heats.