2017 African MALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Chad Le Clos
2017 won’t hang on Chad le Clos’ personal ‘best years of swimming’ by any stretch. At Worlds, he won the 200 fly in 1:53.33, but otherwise struggled. He missed the final in the 100 fly, an event in which he was the defending World Champion, scratched the 200 free, and the 400 medley relay that he was a part of didn’t make it out of prelims.
But, he still came away as the World Champion in his most iconic event, and won his 4th overall FINA World Cup title. Even with new World Cup rules that spread money out among more athletes, he still came away with $328,000 in prize money from that series alone. He also broke the African Record in the 100 short course meters freestyle in 45.78 in Berlin.
That’s not a bad resume for an ‘off year.’
Le Clos passed a significant career milestone in 2017. With his 5th long course World Championship medal in swimming, he passed Gerhard Zandberg and tied Roland Schoeman for the 2nd-most such medals in South African swimming history. Only Cameron van der Burgh, with 10, has more.
Le Clos is a two-time World Swimmer of the Year (2013, 2014), and 4-time African Swimmer of the Year.
In no particular order
- Cameron van der Burgh set an African Record in prelims of the 50 breaststroke (26.54), and finished with a bronze medal in the final. In spite of scratching the 100 breaststroke altogether, he managed to medal at his 5th-straight World Championships in the 50. Including the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and All-Africa Games, he’s won at least 1 medal at every major long course international championship available to him since 2009. He also won the 50 breaststroke at the first 4 stops of the FINA World Cup Series at which it was offered, and also won 3 100 breaststroke titles. He finished 5th overall in the final World Cup standings.
- Marwan el-Kamash: part of a rapidly-rising swimming crew from Egypt, almost all of whom are training in the United States, Marwan El Kamash is part of a thriving Indiana post-grad distance training group. At the 2017 World Championships, he set Egyptian National Records in the 200 free (1:47.40) and 400 free (3:46.36), and opened Egypt’s record-setting 800 free relay as well. He was the only African male from outside of South Africa (they had 3) who advanced to a semi-final in swimming at the World Championships, placing 16th in the 200 free.