FINA WORLD CUP 2022 – BERLIN
We saw Chad Le Clos from South Africa tear down the Berlin pool on the first night of this FINA World Cup series and the 30-year-old put on an encore performance to close out the second night.
Yesterday, Le Clos smashed a winning 100m fly time of 48.58 to produce the sixth-fastest time of his career and best exit from the event in 2020.
24 hours later, “Le Clos 2.0” was at it again, clocking 1:49.62 to take gold in the men’s 200m butterfly.
Splitting 53.65/55.97, Le Clos roared to the wall in the field’s only sub-1:50 result. His final 25 meters clocked in at 27.61 to keep the Swiss ace in check Noah Ponti behind him and nails the victory. Ponti settled for silver in 1:50.43 while Kuan-Hung Wang from Taipei completed the top 3 in 1:51.04.
Le Clos’s performance is his fastest in 2 years, adding strength to where he is now Dirk Lange– trained star is on the right track with Paris 2024 on the horizon.
Last night, after his 100m victory, Le Clos said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better start. It was very important for me to get the win tonight. Time was not important; I couldn’t really care less about the time. I just wanted to win, badly. I’ve suffered a lot of losses lately and I’m done with it now.”
He continued tonight after his 200m victory, saying: “I think I just changed my mindset. As I said yesterday, Chad le Clos 2.0. Slowly taking a step back to get what I feel I deserve.”
“I’m very happy; that’s the best time I’ve done in a long time,” le Clos said of 1:49.62. “It’s faster than my world champs from last year; that would have given me silver . I had the world champion on my left. You always want to compete with the best in the world.”
“Honestly, I’m not going to downplay it: yesterday was a huge moment for me and my career,” he added. “I don’t want to say it was such a devastating two-and-a-half years, but it was in my career.
“Yesterday was a huge win mentally for me. It took a huge amount of pressure off my shoulders. Not because of anything in particular, just because of a win against a top court with the world champion in it. And 48.5, the first eight in history. I’m looking forward to Melbourne, a stepping stone towards that. It’s always great to compete in Berlin. And the fans. There were a lot of fans tonight. Is beautiful.”
Le Clos has had a tumultuous past two years with the multi-Olympic medalist dealing with mental health issues and, more recently, a change in his training environment. You can read more about his journey along the comeback trail here.