Golden butterfly double for Le Clos as Van Niekerk secures silver

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Team South Africa finished the World Short Course Championship in style as Chad le Clos and Lara van Niekerk medalled on the final day.  

During the week, Le Clos won the 200m butterfly event, and on Sunday, he secured the double after taking gold in the 100m event. 

The former Olympian gold medallist won in a time of 48.59, beating Ilya Kharun (49.03) and Marius Kusch (49.12). 

This is the fifth time that Le Clos has won the 100m butterfly gold at the championship after winning in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.  

Speaking after the event, Le Clos was ecstatic about his achievement. 

"I've won 12 world titles individually now, but the most important world title was that 200 fly, just to get myself back," he said. 

"It's been amazing having my dad travel with me for the last three or four weeks and having my coach with me for the last few months. It's been a very special time," he added. 

Van Niekerk was next to earn her spot on the podium in the 50m breaststroke. 

The 19-year-old had a characteristically slow start and turned in seventh position but powered back to finish second in yet another African record of 29.09. 

Only Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, who shattered the world record in Saturday's semifinals, was quicker, taking gold in 28.50. American Lilly King had to settle for the bronze in 29.11. 

Le Clos and Van Niekerk's medals, in addition to Matt Sates' gold in the 200m individual medley and bronze in the 400m individual medley, saw South Africa finishing fifth on the medal table in Melbourne, behind the USA, Australia, Italy and Canada. 

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