Fina: Chad ducks out of heats, heads to awards

2012-12-18 00:00

CAPE TOWN — South African swimming sensation Chad le Clos left the world short course championships in Istanbul on Sunday with two medals after he opted out of defending his 200 metres butterfly crown.

The 20-year-old Durbanite won gold in the 100 metres butterfly earlier in the week and also bagged silver in the 50 metre butterfly on Saturday — SA’s only two medals from the championships.

He was the favourite to win gold in the 200 metres — the event in which he claimed gold at the London Olympics earlier this year.

However, sensationally, according to the sister newspaper Beeld’s website, Le Clos failed to turn up for the heats on Sunday morning after deciding to attend the BBC’s Sports Personality Awards in London.

Le Clos also missed out on the heats in the men’s 4x100 metre medley relay.

The South African team ended up finishing ninth, missing out on a spot in the final by one position.

Le Clos’ dad, Bert, was nominated for the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award for the emotional speech he gave following Chad’s gold medal win in London.

Bert Le Clos lost out to Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt in the final voting.

Giulio Zorzi carried the South African flag in Le Clos’s absence at the closing ceremony in Turkey on Sunday.

Zorzi was the only other South African to reach a final in Istanbul, when he finished seventh in the men’s 50 metres breaststroke.

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