Chad Le Clos has doubled South Africa’s 2016 Olympic Games medal tally after taking silver in the men’s 200 metre freestyle final on Monday night. This adds to the silver won by breaststroker Cameron Van Der Burgh the night before. Le Clos led for most of his race before he was pipped to the post by China’s Sun Yang.
The Chinese touched home in a time 1’44″65 compared to the Durbanite who finished in 1’45″20. The 24-year-old has been hyped as a possible golden boy for South Africa in Rio De Janeiro and will have another crack at glory tomorrow in the men’s 200 metre butterfly final where he will again come face to face with Michael Phelps. The KwaZulu-Natal kid was somewhat underwhelming leading into the final and had to settle for an outside lane position, however he swam like it was nobody’s business recording world record splits in the early stages.
Photo credit: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA
The danger was always that Le Clos might run out of steam. However at the final turn he was still in the lead. China’s Sun was closing the gap however and overtook the South African as the swimmers neared the post.
Second place for Chad Le Clos means he takes his overall Olympic record to three medals. He won a gold and silver in London in 2012 and joins Roland Schoeman, Penny Heyns and Bevil Rudd as the country’s most decorated Olympians. Heyns leads on account of having two golds and a bronze versus the gold and two silvers of Le Clos whereas Schoeman and Rudd have one of each.
The three-time Olympic medallist can overtake the others by medalling in the men’s 200 metre butterfly final. There will also be further opportunities for him in the 100 metre butterfly, 4×200 metre freestyle relay and 4×100 metre medley relay.