Le Clos 'flys' to gold for SA
Barcelona - Chad le Clos celebrated the one year
anniversary of his Olympic 200m butterfly gold in perfect fashion
Wednesday as he added the world title in the event in Barcelona while winning South Africa's first gold at the FINA world championships.
21-year-old, who beat legend Michael Phelps on the wall in the Olympic
final, clocked 1min 54.32secs with Poland's 2005 world champion Pawel
Korzeniowski 0.29 behind and China's Wu Peng third at 0.37 back.
"It is the first time I have won a world title so it is a landmark moment for me," beamed Le Clos.
"I wanted to win this title to mark the anniversary of my Olympic title.
is the exact same day that I won the gold last year and almost to the
hour, so it is a very special day for me to win the world gold."
Le Clos admitted with US star Phelps now retired and no longer the name to beat, he struggled to cope with the 'favourite' tag.
think going into the race I was a little bit anxious, I didn't expect
to go in as first seed so as you come out last, it is a little bit
nerve-wracking," he said.
"My main goal was just to try and win tonight.
"Last year I remember being really relaxed before my race and not worrying about anything.
"Just before they called my name tonight I could really feel the butterflies going so I am just so delighted to get the win.
"I actually heard my dad shouting 'Go Boy!' just before I jumped in and my mum is also here which is great.
"I didn't think it was going to be as hard as it was.
"When I came back from a two-month break I had a small injury and I think that was due to a lack of motivation.
wanted to be 100 percent fit before I started, I believe you can't do
things half-heartedly, if you're going to train you've got to train
Poland's Korzeniowski, 28, only returned to training at
the start of 2013 after injury which cost him any sponsors, and was
pleased with his silver.
"I just wanted to swim with Chad and at
150 metres I was in a very good position, but the last fifty was
decisive and he was the better man," said the 2009 world silver
"This is my third World Championship medal, I won in Montreal and I got second in Rome, so I am very happy.
"I broke my foot and missed training for 2 months, I only started back in January so it is not a long time.
didn't have any sponsors: after the Olympics I got injured and no one
would sponsor me anymore so hopefully now I will get some sponsors to go
to the Olympics in Rio."
Wu, 26, who won world silver in this event six years ago, was content with his bronze.
"I didn't prepare for this championship for a long time so I am very satisfied with this bronze medal," he said.Results from the World championship Men's 200m Butterfly Final:1. Chad Le Clos (South Africa) 1:54.32
Korzeniowski (Poland) 1:55.01 3. Wu Peng (China) 1:55.09
4. Chen Yin (China) 1:55.47 5. Thomas Luchsinger (U.S.)
1:55.70 6. Nikolay Skvortsov (Russia) 1:56.02 7. Tyler Clary
(U.S.) 1:56.34 8. Leonardo De Deus (Brazil) 1:56.44