Le Clos bags second SA gold medal

By Drum Digital
01 August 2012

South African swimming sensation Chad le Clos scooped the country's second gold medal of the London Olympic Games, edging American legend Michael Phelps in the men's 200 metres butterfly final on Tuesday evening.

Le Clos, 20, chased down Phelps in the last 50 metres, touching the wall in one minute, 52.96 seconds (1:52.96) to smash his own national record by well over a second.

Phelps, the defending champion, finished second in 1:53.01.

"It's a dream come true. Michael Phelps is an idol to me and he still is," Le Clos said after the race.

"I can't believe I beat him in the final. It is something that I've lived over in my mind a million times.

"I'm still shocked that I've won. I can't believe it."

Le Clos's medal added to the gold won by Cameron van der Burgh in the men's 100m breaststroke final on Sunday.

An hour later Le Clos was back in the water, swimming the third leg of the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final.

The SA quartet, consisting of Darian Townsend, Sebastien Rousseau, Le Clos and Jean Basson, got off to a super start, with Townsend going out hard on the first leg.

They faded, however, with Rousseau dropping back on the second leg, and they were unable to close the gap, clocking seven minutes, 09.65 seconds (7:09.65) for seventh place.

The United States won in 6:59.70, with Phelps bagging his 15th Olympic gold medal.

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