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2013-11-10 10:00

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Le Clos’ power smashes SA, African records at World Cup

Chad le Clos added another three gold medals to his already big collection at the Fina Swimming World Cup series Tokyo gala yesterday.

The 21-year-old South African swimmer started the meet off with a bang in the 400m individual medley by smashing his own South African and African records.

Le Clos cruised to victory in in a time of 3:59.23 seconds – crushing his previous national and continental mark of 4:02.18 he set in Berlin in 2009.

But this was not where it ended. The lanky Olympic gold medallist added the 50m and 200m butterfly to bring his total tally of medals in the series to 28 (21 gold, five silver and two bronze).

This feat earned him him R375 000 in just the medal haul, for a total earning of R1.4 million.

Nothing seems to stop Le Clos. His achievement in the medley follows after he set a new world record in the 200m butterfly at the Fina Swimming World Cup meet in Singapore early this week.

This is where the powerful swimmer smashed his own world record on the opening night (1:48.56), walking away with a total of five gold medals (200m freestyle, 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley) after the two-day stop.

Le Clos’ record-breaking performance was the meet’s best (1 015 points) and he is leading the pack with 104 points for this cluster.

He is still first overall in the series with 436 points. He is certain to be crowned Swimmer of the Series and earn a further $100 000 (R1 million).

It was business as usual for Le Clos in his favourite event, coming with a late surge to touch first in 1:50.33. He never led the race and hung back in third place for most of it, but he pulled through when it counted the most.

Japan’s Kosuke Hagino surged ahead for the whole race, but had to settle for silver in 1:51.02.

Le Clos and countryman Roland Schoeman came head- to-head in the 50m butterfly.

After winning the event in Singapore, Le Clos again pipped the veteran in the sprint swimming on the outside lane.

Le Clos touched first in a time of 22.26, with Brazil’s Nicholas Santos coming second in 22.33 and Schoeman finishing third in 22.46.

Schoeman did not make any mistakes in the 50m breaststroke as he raced to victory in 26.12. He showed his dominance in the event, having won gold in the entire series.

Schoeman was trailed by Australia’s Christian Sprenger in second place – he clocked 26.26. Japan’s Kouichirou Okazak came in third in 26.47.

Chad‘s international-competition statistics

2 – Gold medals won (100m and 200m butterfly) at world champs in Barcelona

3 – Records broken (two world records in 200m butterfly in Eindhoven and Singapore; one SA/African in 200m IM in Tokyo)

5 – Gold medals won at Fina World Cup in Singapore

21 – Gold medals won at Fina World Cup Series after six meets

28 – Total medals won so far at the Fina World Cup Series

436 – Points accumulated at Fina World Cup Series after six meets

37 500 – Dollars earned for medals won in World Cup Series

1.445 – million rand earned in the World Cup Series

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