BARCELONA — South Africa produced yet another gold medal at the 15th Fina world championships in Barcelona on Saturday evening as Chad le Clos won the 100m butterfly.
Le Clos became the first SA swimmer to win two events in the same discipline at a world championships as he won the 100m butterfly.
He also set a new SA record for the event in a time of 51.06 seconds -0.37 seconds faster than his time from the London Olympics last year.
“I was so worried last night as I didn’t sleep great and I was very nervous this morning,” said Le Clos.
“When I woke up half past three in the afternoon, I felt much more relaxed. The closer I got to the race, the more relaxed and confident I became and I thought that I really had a good chance of winning it.
“It was great to win the 200m but the 100m race is very special to me. (Ryan) Lochte came in and he really wanted to win. That gave the race an extra flavour and I think it was one of the biggest races of the night.”
At the 50m mark Le Clos was only fifth, well behind leader Steffen Deibler from Germany.
“My biggest concern was the turn, I always mess up the turn, underwater I always come up a bit short, but tonight I hit that perfectly,” he said.
Hungarian swimmer Laszlo Cseh and Polish swimmer Konrad Czerniak finished second and third.
Earlier in the week Cameron van der Burgh won gold in the 50m breaststroke and silver in the 100m breaststroke, while Giulio Zorzi took bronze in the 50m breaststroke.
There was also disappointment though for South Africa on Saturday as Roland Schoeman failed to medal in the men’s 50m freestyle and Gerhard Zandberg failed to advance to the finals of the 50m breaststroke.
Schoeman (33) finished 7th in the men’s 50m freestyle race with a time of 21.85 seconds. He was 0.53 seconds behind the winner Cesar Cielo from Brazil.
Schoeman said he was not too disappointed.
“My time was faster than the Olympics last year so it’s OK,” he said.
“I’ll have to see the video to see what happened. Maybe I wasn’t as relaxed as I could have been. It was a very, very fast 50m freestyle final and it was nice to be in the mix.