Despite a poor build-up due to illness and injury, double 2012 Olympic Games medallist Chad le Clos booked his place in Thursday’s final of the 100-metre butterfly at the short-course world championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Competing in Wednesday’s opening day of the championships, Le Clos ended second in Wednesday’s semi-final heat, clocking a time of 50.16 seconds. The heat victory went to American Thomas Shields in 50.184 with countryman Ryan Lochte third in 50.59.
Le Clos has battled with bronchitis as well as a shoulder injury in the months leading up to the championships and will certainly be undercooked for the final big event of the swimming calendar.
He raced to silver in the 100m in London, being pipped by Michael Phelps, after having beaten the great American earlier in the Games, over the 200m butterfly.
Other South Africans in action saw the promising Devon Myles Brown and Leith Shankland falling short of the 200m freestyle final. The former clocked┬á 1:44.89 and the latter 1:44.91. Then Jessica Pengelly, who moved to Australia to further her career clocked 4:37.66 to also miss the 40m IM final.
The women’s 4x200m freestyle team of Olympian Karin Prinsloo, open water champion Michelle Weber, Kyna Pereira and Pengelly were on the reserve list for the finals with a combined swim of 8:02.49.
And Olympic 100m breaststroke gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh’s training partner, Giulio Zorzi, failed to make the semi-final after swimming a 59.09. Van der Burgh is not taking part in Turkey.