Le Clos wins 100m butterfly gold in Bloem

South Africa's great swimmer of all-time, Chad le Clos, on his way to the men's 100m butterfly gold in Bloemfontein. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

South Africa’s Chad le Clos has won the gold in the men’s 100m butterfly at the Africa Swimming Championships in Bloemfontein.

The 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic silver medalist won the event in a blistering time of 52.69 sec.

His compatriot, Alaric Basson, added the silver to his gold from yesterday in a time of 55.05 sec.

The time in which Le Clos won was 1.55 sec slower than time in which he claimed the silver in Rio earlier this year, in that amazing race in which he shared silver with the USA’s Michael Phelps and Hungary’s László Cseh.

The swimmer was without say the star attraction at the Games and he told Courant that he enjoyed his brief stay in the City of Roses.

“I’ve been here about four or five times, but never for swimming though,” said Le Clos.

“It’s my first time swimming here and it’s great to have swum in front of a home crowd again.

“Bloemfontein has a great swimming tradition, the Neethling family is originally from there and they off course there is Grey College as well which produces good swimmers.”

A little known fact about Le Clos is that he suffers from bad asthma and the altitude can be a problem for him, but he said it didn’t affect him during the 100m but in the 200m butterfly it could have affected him.

“It affects me because I have bad asthma, but the 100m is okay, with the 200m I would have had a bit of trouble but it wasn’t too bad today.”

Le Clos is leaving Bloemfontein early on Tuesday morning to head off to Singapore where he will be competing in the FINA World Cup series on Friday.

Russia’s Vladimir Morozov still leads the standings with just three events remaining, with Le Clos trailing by just 49 points.

“Five days ago I was in Dubai, then I was in Doha for two days and Bloemfontein two days, now I’m heading off to Singapore.

“It’s been very hard, it has probably been one of the hardest travel years for me, I’ve been in an amount of countries, but it’s a professional game.

“Unfortunately South Africa in situated far away from all the meets in Europe, America and Asia. If I were in Europe it would be a little bit easier but I’m happy I’m doing it.”

Le Clos recently became the only man even to win over a 100 medals in the World Cup series and he will be looking to win the coveted time for a fourth time. – MORGAN PIEK