Chad le Clos impressed against top international competition at the European Mare Nostrum swimming series, taking place in Monaco, Canet-en-Roussillon and Barcelona. Chad’s fast times indicated that he’s in great form with under two months to the Rio Olympic Games.
MONACO – 4TH & 5TH JUNE
The first leg of the 2016 Mare Nostrum series took place in Monaco, where Chad competed in the 100m and 200m butterfly, and 200m freestyle events. Day 1 saw Chad win gold in the 200m butterfly in a time of 1:54.80. Despite a strong challenge from young Hungarian, Tamas Kenderesi, Chad was always ahead, his opening 50m of 25.60 laying down a gauntlet that his competitors could not match.
First up on day 2 was the 100m butterfly in which Chad was once more victorious in a meet record time of 51.58, which was just 0.16 sec shy of the time in which it took him to share silver with Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS) behind Michael Phelps (USA) at London 2012. Chad then took to the pool one final time for a 1:49.28 second-place in the 200m freestyle behind Paul Biedermann (GER) who won the race in 1:46.71.
CANET-EN-ROUSSILLON – 8TH & 9TH JUNE
Chad continued to build on his form in Canet, where on day 1 he took down the meet record in the Men’s 100m butterfly with a final time of 51.56 grabbing yet another win in the butterfly events and bumping him to seventh in the world rankings for 2016. Steffen Diebler picked up second with a time of 51.91, and third went to Mehdy Metella and his time of 52.30.
Day 2 saw Chad win another two gold medals, this time in the 200m butterfly and 100m freestyle. Chad clocked 1min 54.82 to win the 200m fly, an impressive third length acceleration seeing him pull away for a victory margin of almost four seconds over Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (1:58.69). His other gold in the 100m freestyle came with a swim of 49.02, 0.15sec clear of France’s Jeremy Stravius.
BARCELONA – 11TH & 12TH JUNE
Day 1 in Barcelona, it was gold again for Chad in the 200m butterfly, which inched him up to 4th on the 2016 world rankings with a 1:54.42 meet mark. Out in 25.28, Chad had the race and pace in his grasp by the half-way, a 54.69 leading to a 1:24.89 last turn, and a 29.53 last lap for a dominant win.
Day 2 and Chad returned to freestyle action, taking on current World Champion, James Guy, in the 200m freestyle. Despite a fast final 50m, Guy had already built an insurmountable lead with Chad settling for second place in a time of 1:47.11.