Le Clos smashes African record to take gold in Melbourne

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South African swimmer Chad le Clos
South African swimmer Chad le Clos
Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

South African swimmer Chad le Clos turned back the time as he stormed to gold in the 200m butterfly at the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne on Thursday.

Swimming in lane five, Le Clos touched the wall in a new personal best and African record time of 1:48.27.

The 30-year-old Olympian burst tears as he finally got his hands back on the title he last won in 2016. 

Le Clos has had a tough few years, struggling with depression and a drop in form but showed he is well and truly on the comeback trail after a switch in coaches. 

"This is a big win for me. I've taken so many losses in the last two years. A lot of people doubted me, the swimming world doubted me, but the king is back," said Le Clos, who finished fifth in the 50m butterfly final on Wednesday.

"I had a change of mindset, I was fighting too much with myself and trying desperate-man swimming... a big thank you to my coach, Dirk Lange, for all the changes he’s made in the last 10 weeks.

"Just like we said in Gladiator - we smelt that dirt, we came out prepared for war."

Japanese Daiya Seto came in second in 1:49.22 and Swiss Noe Ponti rounded up the podium (1:49.42).

Le Clos will be back in the pool on Saturday for the 100m butterfly.

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