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Le Clos’ 100m fly chances blown away in Budapest

Le Clos

By Mark Etheridge

Olympic silver medallist Chad le Clos blew any chance of medalling in the 100-metre butterfly at the Fina World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday.

Having won gold in the 200m butterfly on Wednesday, it was all woe for Le Clos as he failed to even make the final.

He placed a distance seventh in the first of two semi-finals in the Duna Arena with a time of 51.48 seconds. The heat was won by Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, the Singapore swimmer clocking 50.78.

The first semi was the slower of the two semi’s as American Caeleb Dressel blitzed to a 50.07 win in the second.

When the ripples had receded after the two semi-finals, there was no place for Le Clos, world champion in this event at the last two editions of the event.

His 51.48 put him 12th of the 16 semi-finalists and he would have needed a time 0.17sec quicker to even book a place in the final, let alone be a contender.

Le Clos’ failure to advance means South Africa’s chances of any further medals, are few and far between. To date Le Clos’s gold and Cameron van der Burgh’s bronze in the 50m breaststroke are the only returns at these championships.

At the last championships in Kazan, Russia, two years ago, they won five medals, to finish 11th on the medals table.

After Friday’s action the rainbow nation will have to reflect on finishing a lot lower than that currently sitting in 14th spot.

Picture of Le Clos courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA


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