Le Clos unstoppable

2013-11-07 00:00

SINGAPORE — Chad le Clos and Katinka Hosszu both completed a stunning haul of five gold medals at the Singapore World Cup at Singapore Sports School yesterday to take a virtually unassailable lead in the series standings.

Le Clos broke his own 200 m butterfly short course world record on day one. Then he added the 200 m freestyle, 100 m butterfly and 200 m individual medley titles, thus winning every race he entered.

“Last night was a very good night for me, probably the best night I’ve had in short-course, and tonight was just about racing good competitors to see where I’m at,” said the South African (21).

“The butterfly and freestyle were very, very close. I’m just really happy with tonight. Two years ago I got six gold medals, so I’ll take 11 from 11!”

Hungary’s Hosszu finished her gruelling two-day programme of 11 races with five victories after winning the 400 m and 100 m individual medleys and the 100 m backstroke on the final evening.

Hosszu admitted, however, that the tough schedule got the better of her as she finished last in her final event, the 50 m butterfly.

Both swimmers enjoy a big lead in the points table, with little realistic chance they will be caught in the eight-stop series’ final two legs in Tokyo and Beijing.

South Africa’s Myles Brown opened proceedings with a masterful win in the men’s 1500 m, going neck-and-neck with Gergely Gyurta before surging at the close to win by two seconds.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson was just 14-hundredths off the world record in the women’s 50 m breaststroke, while Australia’s Cate Campbell was also a fast winner in the 100 m freestyle.

Le Clos looked way off the pace in the men’s 200 m freestyle as Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes took a big lead from halfway.

But the South African star stormed home in a thrilling finish to snatch gold by just 18-hundredths of a second.

It was a similar story in the 100 m butterfly. The reigning long-course world champion came from fourth position at 50 metres to win it by five-hundredths from Poland’s Konrad Czerniak.

He ended a triumphant visit to Singapore with a win from the front in the 200 m individual medley, despite nearly being caught in the penultimate breaststroke leg.

Le Clos said afterwards that he was now trying to build his repertoire to approach the feats of versatile American great Michael Phelps at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “It’s a race I want to try to compete in, maybe in 2016,” he said of the 200 m freestyle.

“I want to try to do the same as Phelps. He did the 200 m freestyle and he won gold in Beijing. It’s just a wild shot, to see what I can do in the freestyle and hopefully try to add to my programme.

“I just want to challenge myself as much as possible.”

Results from the FINA World Cup in Singapore yesterday:

Men’s 1 500 m freestyle:

1. Myles Brown (RSA) 14:56,94, 2. Gergely Gyurta (HUN) 14:58,93, 3. Luiz Rogerio Lima Arapiraca (BRA) 15:08,59

Men’s 200 m freestyle:

1. Chad le Clos (RSA) 1:42,29, 2. Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) 1:42,47, 3. Robert Hurley (AUS) 1:43,44

Men’s 100 m butterfly:

1. Le Clos (RSA) 50,04, 2. Konrad Czerniak (POL) 50,09, 3. Tommaso D’Orsogna (AUS) 50,86

Men’s 200 m individual medley:

1. Le Clos (RSA) 1:53,36, 2. Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) 1:54,60, 3. Henrique Rodrigues (BRA) 1:55,08.

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