Johannesburg - It is a question of when rather than if Chad le Clos will break the 100m butterfly short course record, after he missed the mark by a hair’s breadth on the second night of the Dubai leg of the FINA World Cup Series on Monday.
Although Le Clos missed the world record by 0.11 seconds, he managed to set a new South African and African mark with a time of 48.59 seconds, improving on his previous best of 48.82 from the 2012 World Short Course Championships.
Le Clos beat the United States’ Tom Shield (49.00) to the wall, while Germany’s Steffen Deibler clinched the bronze in 49.33sec.
He also won the 200m Individual Medley to win his fourth gold medal at the meet after he also finished first in the 100m freestyle and the 50m butterfly on Sunday.
The 22-year-old posted a time of one minute, 51.56 seconds (1:51.56) for first place while Thomas Fraser-Holmes touched behind him in second clocking 1:53.77.
Marco Koch of Germany completed the podium in third place with his 1:55.19.
Showing off his sprinting ability, Le Clos won the 100m freestyle event in a time of 46.24sec beating Deibler, who touched in 46.85sec and Konrad Czerniak (47.17) in third place.
The 50m butterfly has recently developed into a close tussle between Le Clos and South African stalwart Roland Schoeman.
Le Clos, however, touched first in a time of 22.02sec, while Schoeman and Shields tied for second place with 22.51sec.
Schoeman won his third medal of the meet on Monday, winning gold in the mixed 200m freestyle relay with Lehesta Kemp, Leith Shankland and Taneal Baptiste.
He also claimed gold in the 50m breastroke on Friday, posting a time of 26.16sec to beat off a challenge by Italy’s Favio Scozzoli (26.37sec) in second place and Cody Miller (26.38sec) of the US in third.
Compatriot and world long course championship bronze medallist Giulio Zorzi finished in fifth place in a time of 26.16sec.