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BARCELONA, Spain, August 3. HE nearly did it last summer at the 2012 London Olympics, but tonight South Africa’s Chad Le Clos accomplished the 100-200 butterfly sweep with a win in the 100 at the FINA World Championships.
Last summer, Le Clos shocked the world by upended Michael Phelps in his pet event of the 200-meter fly as the South African captured his first Olympic gold medal. Le Clos, however, wound up taking silver in the 100 fly to miss out on the 100-200 double.
Tonight, Le Clos left no doubt as he blazed his way to a 51.06 for the win, coming home in 26.89 to crush the field after turning fifth. He’s the first African to ever win this title.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh earned his ninth long course world medal with a silver-winning time of 51.45. He now has one gold, four silvers and four bronzes on his long and illustrious resume that would have been even stronger if not done in the shadow the likes of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte since he first won a world title in the 400 IM back in 2005. His time tonight broke his Hungarian record of 51.77 from the 2012 European Championships.
Poland’s Konrad Czerniak raced his way to bronze in 51.46 after finishing second in 2011 in the event. That’s his second medal during long course world championship competition.
Germany’s Steffen Deibler (51.54) and Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin (51.57) took fourth and fifth, while USA’s Ryan Lochte obviously had a tough time recovering from his epic triple last night as the 100 fly newbie wound up with a sixth-place 51.58. That’s not bad considering his lifetime best is his 51.48 from earlier this week.
Italy’s Matteo Rivolta and Belarus’ Yauhen Tsurkin posted matching 51.65s to close out the championship finale.