A record for Le Clos - and a near win

Chad le Clos narrowly missed the word record for the 100m butterfly short course at the Fina World Cup Series 2014, held in Dubai. (Getty)

Chad le Clos narrowly missed the word record for the 100m butterfly short course at the Fina World Cup Series 2014, held in Dubai. (Getty)

South African Olympic swimmer Chad Le Clos has set a new South African mark at the Fina World Cup Series, improving on his previous best.

It is a question of when rather than if Chad le Clos will break the 100m butterfly short course record, after narrowly missing the world record on the second night of the Fina World Cup Series on Monday.

Although Le Clos missed the record in the Dubai leg of the series by 0.11 seconds, he managed to set a new South African and African mark with a time of 48.59 seconds, improving on his previous best of 48.82 seconds from the 2012 World Short Course Championships. 

Le Clos beat the United States’ (US) Tom Shields (49.00 seconds) to the wall, while Germany’s Steffen Deibler clinched the bronze in 49.33 seconds. He also won the 200m individual medley to win his fourth gold medal at the meet, and finished first in the 100m freestyle and the 50m butterfly on Sunday. 

The 22-year-old posted a time of 1:51.56 for first place, while Thomas Fraser-Holmes touched behind him in second, clocking 1:53.77. Marco Koch of Germany completed the podium in third place at 1:55.19. 

Close tussle
Showing off his sprinting ability, Le Clos won the 100m freestyle event in a time of 46.24 seconds, beating Deibler, who touched in 46.85 seconds and Konrad Czerniak who came in third at 47.17 seconds. 

The 50m butterfly has recently developed into a close tussle between Le Clos and South African stalwart Roland Schoeman. Le Clos, however, touched first in a time of 22.02 seconds, while Schoeman and Shields tied for second place with 22.51 seconds.

Schoeman won his third medal of the meet on Monday, winning gold in the mixed 200m freestyle relay with Lehesta Kemp, Leith Shankland and Taneal Baptiste. He also claimed gold in the 50m breaststroke on Friday, posting a time of 26.16 seconds to beat off a challenge by Italy’s Favio Scozzoli (26.37 seconds) in second place and Cody Miller (26.38 seconds) of the US in third. 

Compatriot and world long course championship bronze medallist Giulio Zorzi finished in fifth place in a time of 26.16 seconds. – Sapa

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