Olympics 2012

Milestones for SA swim duo

2012-08-01 23:11
Chad le Clos (File)

London - Chad le Clos and Suzaan van Biljon both achieved milestones in the swimming pool after their respective semi-finals at the London Olympic Games on Tuesday.

Le Clos secured his fourth final at the Games, becoming the first South African to do that since the country was readmitted to the global showpiece in 1992.

He became an overnight international sensation after he unseated 15-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly final the night before.

Still reeling from Tuesday night's excitement, Le Clos advanced to the final of the men's 200m individual medley by the skin of his teeth.

Le Clos was up against four-time Olympic medallist Laszlo Cseh of Hungary in his heat as he touched fifth, recording a personal best time of 1:58.49.

His time was just good enough to secure a berth in Thursday's final with the joint seventh fastest time. The 20-year-old said he had not expected to go past the semi-final and was relieved to make his fourth final of the Games.

"I didn't think I was going to make it, I was so scared," Le Clos said.

Le Clos added that he did not think that he would be able to challenge the rest of the sterling field for the podium.

"My breaststroke has been very shaky for the last few years but it has come right, not for the 200m, but more for the 400m IM," he said.

"I don't know if I can get my breaststroke down to challenge Ryan Lochte and Phelps because they are splitting 33s and I am splitting 35s."

Van Biljon, on the other hand, broke Penny Heyns's 13-year-old South African record of 2:23.64 in the women's 200m breaststroke semi-final.

She finished third in her semi-final with a time of 2:23.21 to advance to the final.

Van Biljon, however, was not overly excited about breaking the double Olympic-champion's long standing record.

"I just did a PB by over two seconds, I can't expect anything more than that," Biljon said.

"I didn't even know that was the record. I don't really swim to break records, I swim to improve my time."


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