Chad le Clos was in sizzling form on the first day of the Japan leg of the World Cup series as he smashed his own South African 400m individual medley record on Saturday.
He coasted to victory in the 400m IM in a time of three minutes, 59.23 seconds (3:59.23) crushing his previous national and continental mark of 4:02.18 he set in Berlin in 2009.
Le Clos’ blistering swim caused a ripple as the second place Thomas Fraser-Holmes set a new Australian record when he touched in a time of 3:59.92. Japan’s Daiya Seto finished in third place with a time of 4:00.72.
His achievement in the medley event follows in the wake of the new 200m butterfly short-course world record he set in Singapore earlier this week.
It was also the second time this year that the versatile swimmer had improved on the world mark in his favourite event.
In his signature 200m butterfly event, Le Clos continued with his tried and tested strategy of launching a late surge. Le Clos hung back in fourth place for the majority of the race before he propelled past the race leaders to touch first in a time of 1:50.33.
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, who lead for most of the race touched second in 1:51.02 with compatriot Takeshi Matsuda claiming third place in 1:51.55.
After breaking Roland Schoeman’s stranglehold on the 50m butterfly event in Singapore earlier this week, Le Clos again pipped the revered veteran in the sprint.
The 21-year-old Le Clos touched first in a time of 22.26 seconds with Brazil’s Nicholas Santos grabbing second place in 22.33 and Schoeman finishing third with a time of 22.46.
Earlier, Schoeman highlighted his dominance in the 50m breaststroke as he raced to victory in a time of 26.12 seconds.
He was followed by Australia’s Christian Sprenger in second place who posted a time of 26.26sec, while Kouichirou Okazaki of Japan came in third with 26.47sec.