World Championships, Day Six Men’s Finals: Chad Le Clos Completes Fly Double With 100 Gold; WJR For Ilya Kharun

Chad Le Clos: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

Deep Blue Media

World Championships, Day Six Men’s Finals: Chad Le Clos Completes Fly Double With 100 Gold; WJR For Ilya Kharun

Chad Le Clos completed the 100/200 fly double for the third time with victory over four lengths at the World Championships in Melbourne.

The South African claimed the 200 earlier in the week and on Sunday he went ahead on the second lap and led thereafter to stop the clock at 48.59.

Canadian Ilya Kharun set a WJR and Canadian mark of 49.03 for silver with Marius Kusch of Germany third in 49.12.

Kusch led after 25 in 10.24, 0.04 ahead of Le Clos (10.28) with Simon Bucher third through in 10.41.

Le Clos split 12.22 to turn first after 50, 0.09 ahead of Olympic bronze medallist Noe Ponti, and led the Swiss swimmer by 0.08 at 75 with Kharun in eighth.

Le Clos came home in 13.23 with Kharun coming past the entire field bar the South African 13.05 – the fastest final split – with Kusch third.

Le Clos splits: 10.28/22.50 (12.22)/35.36 (12.86)/48.59 (13.23)

It was the 12th world short-course title for the 30-year-old and the third 100-200 double after Doha 2014 and Windsor two years later.

Kharun has been on record-breaking form throughout the meet, setting a WJR 0f 22.32 in the 50 fly heats which he subsequently lowered to 22.28, a time he matched in a swim-off although he didn’t make the final.

On Sunday, he sliced 0.50secs from Li Zhuhao’s time of 49.53 in November 2017 with the 17-year-old now holding all the Canadian short-course fly records.

Kusch’s medal was one of two medals for Germany in Melbourne with Anna Elendt also taking bronze in the 100m breaststroke.

Of the World Championships, Le Clos said:

“Ilya (Kharun) was good tonight and he may give me some trouble in a couple of months 

“What you see is Chad Le Clos mark 2.0.

 “Tonight’s performance was really just for me, it’s been an emotional week because I really haven’t won in four years.

It meant so much really, and of course, the 200m did too, but this 100m is part of my comeback

“Twelve world titles, I need three more to catch (Ryan) Lochte’s record, so maybe I can catch that in a year.”

The four-time Olympic medallist has experienced a turbulent couple of years.

There was a combination of the lack of a consistent training base, the legacy of the lockdown in South Africa amid the pandemic and regular illness.

Amidst all that was the “traumatic experience” in January 2021 that led to depression and therapy and a feeling of desolation at Tokyo 2020 where he finished outside the medals.

He experienced a career low point this year when he when he finished fourth in the 100 fly at the Commonwealth Games.

Le Clos switched training bases, moving to join Dirk Lange in Frankfurt, ahead of which he told Swimming World:

“Everyone has written me off in world swimming – I know that, I hear what people are saying.

“But they are going to be reminded very soon that they are making a huge mistake to write me off, everyone. So good luck to them.”

He said he knew he was going to one day again enjoy success and so it came to be in Australia.

Le Clos continued post-race in Melbourne:

“It’s been a long time since I have been happy.  The truth is that I have been in a bad place for the last two years. 

“The Berlin World Cup kickstarted the journey that I am on now

“To win a race against so many world champions is so special.

“Tonight capped off an unbelievable week, and in fact an unbelievable year actually looking back now.

“Double world champ, I could never ask for anything better!

“It makes me very happy.” 

Kharun doesn’t turn 18 until February 2023 and is one of several young Canadian swimmers who are hinting at find futures on the international stage.

He said:

“I grew up around that (team) environment with my teammates, they have also been on crazy meets, and I kind of just learn from them, try to keep up and do my best.”


mens 100 fly final


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