Chad Le Clos gets silver in 100m freestyle duel

08 April 2018 - 13:27
By David Isaacson
 Chad Le Clos.
Image: CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP Chad Le Clos.

Dammit!” Chad Le Clos summed it up best after he had been edged into joint second place by young Scottish swimmer Duncan Scott in the 100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday night.

Chad Le Clos summed it up best after he had been edged into joint second place by young Scottish swimmer Duncan Scott in the 100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday night.

This was the first time the South African superstar was racing this event at a championship‚ and for the first 75 metres he looked like he was going to whip the three Australian favourites in front of their vociferous home crowd.

This is the blue riband event of galas‚ and it particularly in Gold Coast.

The line-up boasted Australia's reigning Olympic 100m champion Kyle Chalmers‚ winner of the 200m freestyle here‚ as well as Cameron McEvoy‚ the fastest 100m freestyler in a textile suit. And up-and-coming Jack Cartwright couldn't be discounted either.

And then there was Le Clos‚ who's always keen to rumble with the big fish. The South African was a little slow off the blocks‚ but he was the last to surface‚ coming up in the lead. He was first into the wall and he led going back down the second length.

But when 20-year-old Scott hit his tubo jets over the final metres‚ Le Clos couldn’t respond.

“Dammit‚” Le Clos told journalists with a smile before taking the first question. “I’m very happy‚ I’m very proud. It was very close. I could see him coming behind me and I’m like ‘aaagh‚ please‚ no‚ please no.”

Scott touched in 48.02sec‚ with Le Clos and Chalmers hitting the wall simultaneously in 48.15 with McEvoy fourth in 48.44.

“I’m happy with the swim‚” said Le Clos. “A personal best time for me so you can’t complain about a PB. I wish we could do it again. Give me 20 minutes to warm down and I’d love to go again.”

He also praised Scott.“Fair play to Duncan‚ huge props to him.

“I knew it was going to tough and I knew I would have both guys [Scott and McEvoy in the lanes next to him] sitting in the wake. It is what it is and like I said‚ I’d like to run that back and go again.”

Le Clos thought he had tried too hard at the end. “I was just tightening up too much and I think I overextended a little bit too much‚ but I gave it my best shot.

“It was fun‚ I had good fun out there‚ it was the race I was looking forward to the most. I was feeling great … no excuses‚” said Le Clos‚ who has been unable to compete in this race previously because it normally clashes with his premier 200m butterfly race.

This was Le Clos’s third medal of the Games‚ adding to the two golds he took in the 50m and 200m ’fly races.