Le Clos comfortably into 100m fly semi-final in Hungary | TeamSA - TeamSA
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Le Clos comfortably into 100m fly semi-final in Hungary

Le Clos

By Mark Etheridge

Already a gold medallist at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Hungary, South Africa’s Chad le Clos cruised into the semi-finals of the 100-metre butterfly event on Friday morning.

Swimming in the eighth and final heat, Le Clos ended third in a time of 51.28 seconds behind Rio Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling of Singapore and Hungary’s Kirstof Milak.

Schooling and Milak clocked times of 51.21 and 51.23 respectively.

Le Clos, winner of the 200m fly on Wednesday, was third at the turn, 0.31sec back and merely held his position to be all smiles at the wall and sixth qualifier overall.

Quickest into the semi-final was American Caeleb Dressel in 50.08.

Earlier South Africa’s male sprinters failed to get out of the freestyle heats on day six of pool action.

Olympian Doug Erasmus and United States based Zane Waddell were in action with 13 heats deciding the semi-finalists.

First up was Waddell, going off in heat 10. He ended ninth of 10 with a time of 22.86 seconds as Ukraine’s Shergii Shvetsov won in 22.13.

Erasmus was in the next heat and he was a bit quicker in 22.56, but also in ninth spot.

Heat winner was American Caeleb Dressel in 21.61.

Erasmus ended 31st in the beats and Waddell 45th of 118 finishers.

Quickest into the semi-finals was Brazil’s Bruno Fratus in 21.51 with the slowest qualifier into the semi swimming a 22.18sec time.

Next up was teenager Erin Gallagher, the Durbanite going off in the butterfly after her freestyle action the previous day.

She ended sixth in her 50 fly heat in 27.36, a time which put her 34th overall after all the heats were done. Quickest on the day was Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom with a 25.26 while the last qualifying time into the semi-finals was a 26.34.

The other two SA swimmers in heat action were Samantha Randle and Kate Beavon, the former in the 200m backstroke and the latter in the endurance event, 800m freestyle.

Pretoria’s Randle ended 10th in her heat with a time of 2:17.14 which put her 27th overall as American Kathleen Baker was quickest with a 2:06.82.

Beavon, from Johannesburg, was off in heat three and placed eighth in 8:58.31 in a race won by Liechtenstein’s Julia Hassler in 8:34.13. That meant she was 29 of 38 finishers in the qualifying round. Top of the pile was American Katie Ledecky with an 8:20.24.

Left to right, Le Clos, Schooling  and  Tim Phillips of the US in action on Friday. Picture courtesy of Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images


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