Johannesburg - Olympian Chad le Clos claimed an impressive three medals at the opening leg of the 2018 FINA Swimming World Cup in Kazan, Russian over the weekend.
According to SuperSport.com, Le Clos was the top performer winning gold in the 200m butterfly and silver in the 100m butterfly and the 200m freestyle.
He rounded off his performance in the pool with the 200m freestyle silver medal on the final evening of swimming action, clocking 1:48.10, behind the USA’s Blake Pieroni, who led from start to finish to take the spoils in a time of 1:47.32.
The South African swimming star brushed off a surprise defeat from the first day to turn in a gritty fight to win the 200m butterfly gold medal on Saturday against Russia’s Daniil Phakomov, who held a slight lead for the majority of the race.
At the last turn, Pakhomov had a 0.72s lead over Le Clos but the South African surged over the final half lap to out-touch the Russian posting a time of 1:56.58, to Phakomov’s 1:56.90, with Hungarian David Verraszto finishing in third place with 1:59.03.
The Olympic gold medallist was edged out in the final of the 100m butterfly on Friday with the USA’s Michael Andrew winning by a whisker in a time of 51.96, beating Le Clos to the wall by 0.04s with the South African sharing the silver-medal position with Russia’s Egor Kuimov as they touched at the same time of 52.00.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ryan Coetzee just missed out on a medal, finishing behind Le Clos and Kuimov and posting a new personal best of 52.10, while in the 100m freestyle he swam to another personal best of 49.88 to finish fifth.
During the first day of the series, Coetzee finished seventh in the 50m freestyle in 22.66 and ended off the competition with a 5th place finish in the 50m butterfly with a time of 23.45.
Max Kieser missed out on a place in the 100m butterfly final, finishing eighth in his heat in 58.48, while in the 100m freestyle heat he clocked 53.81 and ended in 5th place.
James Dhooge featured in the 100m freestyle heats but could not advance to the final finishing seventh in his preliminary round clocking 54.85.
The next leg of the FINAL Swimming World Cup Series will be held in Doha from September 13 to 15.