2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Swimming: August 6-13
- Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
- Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
- SwimSwam previews
- Day 1 Schedule & Results
- Live Stream (NBC)
Chad Le Clos, one of if not THE highest profile African swimmer at these Games, swam the third-fastest time in the men’s 200 fly this morning during prelims. Tonight, he had to pull out a tough double with the 200 free final and the 200 fly semifinals, and it turned out pretty well for him.
Le Clos, who is certainly better-known for his prowess in the butterfly events as the defending 2012 Olympic Champion in the 200 fly, has had a noticeable 200 free race strategy at these games.
In prelims, Le Clos was howling out of the gates, charging to a huge lead after the first 50 and 100. Though the field caught up to him, he sailed through to the semifinals.
Le Clos swam the same way in semifinals, and though he died hard again at the end, he found himself a spot in the final in lane 1. Outside smoke, anyone? In tonight’s final, as has become normal for Le Clos, he was out like a rocket.
The 200 free was supposed to be about defending World Champ James Guy and distance free stalwart Sun Yang, and then after that, Japanese star Kosuke Hagino. And then the Americans. But, there was Le Clos, still well in contention with 10 meters left in lane 1. And, at the wall, the rest of the field couldn’t catch him. Only Sun of China edged ahead of him, and after a frenzy of a finish, Le Clos had earned silver.
In addition to his silver, Le Clos’s time of 1:45.20 set a new African continental record, sneaking ahead of the 1:45.67 done in 2009 by his countrymate Jean Basson.
Later, Le Clos completed a successful double with a decent swim in the 200 fly that will give him lane 6 next to… Michael Phelps in the final. These Olympics have been dramatic, what with the Lilly King – Yulia Efimova rivalry, and the Phelps-Le Clos rivalry will be a must-watch race tomorrow night.