South African Swimming Champ Reclaims Crown

Tony Ekata, Pretoria

Swimming – 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships – Men's 200m Butterfly awarding ceremony – Budapest, Hungary – July 26, 2017 – Chad Le Clos (gold) of South Africa poses with the medal. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

South Africa’s swimming sensation, Chad Le Clos, reclaimed his 200m butterfly world crown as he displaced reigning champion Laszlo Cseh in front of his home crowd in Budapest on Wednesday night.

Le Clos‚ as he did in the semifinals on Tuesday night‚ went out hard to establish a commanding lead‚ but unlike the previous evening‚ he kept pushing on the final length.

The 25-year-old clocked 1min 53.33sec‚ his fastest time since winning Olympic gold at the London 2012 Games‚ relegating his Hungarian rival into second place in 1:53.72. Daiyo Seto of Japan was third in 1:54.21.

Le Clos’ time would have been good enough for Olympic gold at Rio 2016‚ where the South African star was knocked off the podium into fourth place.

Behind him were the Olympic silver and bronze medalists‚ Masato Sakai of Japan and Tamas Kenderesi‚ another Hungarian‚ who ended sixth and fourth.

Le Clos showed how much it meant to him when receiving his gold on the podium‚ shedding those trademark tears even before the strains of South Africa’s national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika sounded through the Duna Arena.