Chad le Clos and Michael Phelps (Getty)
Rio de Janeiro - South African swimming coach Graham Hill has heaped praised on Michael Phelps following the American's triumph in the 200m butterfly on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, SA time).
Phelps swam to his 20th Olympic gold medal - he would bag his 21st in the 4x200m freestyle relay later - while Chad le Clos surrendered the title he won in 2012 by finishing out of the medals.
A gutted Le Clos was not ready to face media after his race, but Hill later offered some explanation of what had transpired.
"At the 150m mark he was good - 1.23.3 - that's what we wanted to be. He just didn't have it to come home," the coach said.
"I think it was a big race and hats off to Michael and the true champion that he is.
"He put up a really big show tonight and held it together on the last 50m and it just wasn't Chad's night tonight."
Hill believed that Le Clos would bounce back.
"The true champion that Chad is - we still have the 100m fly to come - I'm sure he'll be back again on Friday night," he said.
The heats for that event start on Thursday.
Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...