2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
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South Africa’s Chad Le Clos was swimming his own race in the 200 fly semifinal on Monday. He took out the first 100 meters of his semifinals 200 butterfly about 1.5 seconds faster than he did in prelims to lead the field by 1 second at the 50-meter mark and 2 seconds at the halfway point.
He split the race 24.45/28.23, charging hard on the first 100 meters. He finished in 30.56/31.82 while trying to fend off the field of swimmers slowly devouring his lead.
Swimming out of lane eight, Le Clos turned his head to look down the pool at the swarm of competitors five times on the last 50 meters before putting his head down and throwing himself forward for three last strokes into the wall.
In prelims, the difference between Le Clos’ 2nd and 3rd 50 splits was .56. In finals, that difference grew to 2.33 seconds, an exhibit of a race plan that some call “fly and die.”
Although, when you are 2012 Olympic gold medalist Chad Le Clos, “die” still means you earn the #3 spot going into tomorrow’s final.
Le Clos touched the wall 1st in the first semifinal heat with a time of 1:55.06, .90 faster than his prelims time.
He gave a couple short nods after the race when he looked at the scoreboard, followed by a wave and thumbs up to the crowd, and a slight smile off camera. His coaches looked a bit chagrined at his strategy in the stands.
Splits Comparison: Prelims vs Semifinals
|Le Clos Prelims||Le Clos Semifinals|
|100||54.07 (29.10)||52.68 (28.23)|
|150||1:24.53 (30.46)||1:23.24 (30.56)|
|200||1:55.96 (31.43)||1:55.06 (31.82)|
His prelims swim was more reserved on the front half (24.97/29.10) and he finished the race with a stronger 3rd 50 meters (30.46 compared to 30.56 in semifinals) and stronger on the final 50 meters (31.43 compared to 31.82 in semifinals.)
Compare Le Clos’ race to top seed Kristof Milak of Hungary who earned the top spot going into the final tomorrow with a time of 1:52.22.
Milak split the race 24.46/28.45/29.16/30.15 in semifinals, also slowing down on the back half of the race. But Milak had a smaller difference between his 2nd and 3rd 50 splits (.71) than Le Clos whose splits were separated by 2.33 seconds.
Splits Comparison: Le Clos vs Milak
|Le Clos Prelims||Le Clos Semifinals||Milak Prelims||Milak Semifinals|
|100||54.07 (29.10)||52.68 (28.23)||54.01 (29.21)||52.91 (28.45)|
|150||1:24.53 (30.46)||1:23.24 (30.56)||1:23.32 (29.31||1:22.07 (29.16)|
|200||1:55.96 (31.43)||1:55.06 (31.82)||1:53.58 (30.26)||1:52.22 (30.15)|
Both swimmers outdid their prelims swims significantly, by .90 for Le Clos and by 1.35 seconds for Milak.