A successful week of competition for Chad le Clos at the South African Olympic Trials in Kings Park, Durban, saw Chad achieve the automatic qualification times in all of his events.
Here is a round-up of the week:
DAY 2 – MEN’S 200M FREESTYLE (HEATS & SEMI-FINALS)
Olympic Qualifying Time: 1:47.97
With none of his events featured on Day 1 of the Trials, Chad’s first action in the pool came in the form of the 200m freestyle heats and semis on Day 2. Racing in the second semi saw a duel between Chad and training partner Myles Brown – Chad taking the final few meters in his first qualifying time of 1:47.88.
DAY 4 – MEN’S 200M BUTTERFLY (HEATS & FINAL)
Having achieved the 200m freestyle qualifying time on Day 2, and second place in that final on Day 3, Chad then turned his attention to the first of his butterfly event, the 200m heats and final on Day 4. He set the pace out on 54.79 and held his dominant lead to clock 1:55.04 at the final touch. That pushed him up to 4th in the latest World Rankings.
DAY 6 – MEN’S 100M BUTTERFLY (HEATS & SEMI-FINALS); 4 X 100M MEDLEY RELAY (TIME TRIAL)
Back into the pool and swimming butterfly, Day 6 was the turn of 100m heats and semi-finals for Chad, where he swam the fastest times in both (51.81 in the heats and 51.91 in the semi-final ), once more dipping under the qualifying time of 52.36. He then took to the pool with teammates Christopher Reid, Cameron van der Burgh and Calvyn Justus for a time trial to secure qualification for the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay. Christopher led off this relay with a 53.52, before Cameron took over in the breaststroke to split an encouraging 58.95, and handed over to Chad for the butterfly leg. Chad kept the pace going with a quick 51.59 to hand over to Calvyn in the freestyle who completed the anchor leg in 49.74; thereby finishing in 3:33.80, well under the required 3:34.70.
DAY 7 – MEN’S 100M BUTTERFLY (FINAL); 4 X 200M FREESTYLE RELAY (TIME TRIAL)
Chad rounded off a successful week for him in the 100m butterfly final, winning in 51.82, a tenth better than his semi-final swim.
“I am just happy to get another time under way,” Chad said to reporters at Kings Park. Asked if the World Record was in his sights he said “I am exactly 2 seconds off the World Record but that is my goal for South Africa.”
Chad took to the pool one final time for another relay time trial – this time the Men’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay. Myles Brown led off in 1:47.53, Sebastien Rousseau kept the target in sight with a 1:48.09 to hand over to Calvyn Justus, who clocked 1:49.60 to hand over to Chad – and he took off in a 1:47.74 anchor to reach under the 7:12.96 mark with an overall 7:12.96.
At the time of trials, that put them in second position among four available wild cards that will earn invites to the Olympics in the event. Brazil leads that hunt in 7:10.20, and the South Africans are chased by Italy (7:13.77), China (7:16.67), and Canada (7:17.33).