Olympic and World Champion in the 200 butterfly Chad le Clos of South Africa won his first major international title in the 100 butterfly today in Barcelona winning in a lifetime best of 51.06. le Clos had a tremendous final 50 meters splitting a 26.89 making up ground on four competitors after turning at 50 meters in the fifth position.
Unlike his winning time of 1:54.32 in the 200 butterfly earlier in the competition which was much slower than the 1:52.96 he posted in London his winning time in the 100 butterfly was a considerable improvement on his previous best of 51.42 that he recorded in the semi-finals at the Olympic games.
After winning the world short course championships in an impressive time of 48.82 and seeing his improvement in Barcelona it appears that le Clos has focused much more on the shorter distance since the Olympics.
Hungarian Laszlo Cseh finished second in a time of 51.45. Cseh, whose best finish in Barcelona has been a fifth in the 200 IM, looks like as time goes on he is becoming more focusing on shorter and shorter events.
Entering the competition his lifetime best in the event was 51.77 from 2012. The second place finish was surprising considering his season’s best of 52.51 had him ranked 31st in world coming into Barcelona.
Konrad Czerniak of Poland finished third, one one-hundredth behind Cseh, in a season’s best of 51.45. The placing for Czerniak would be satisfying after a disappointing eighth place finish in the Olympics.
Coming into Barcelona Steffen Deibler was the top ranked swimmer in the world posting a time of 51.19 in April. Deibler led at the halfway point turning in a time of 23.60, but his tactics proved to be flawed as his 27.94 in the second 50 meters was the slowest in the field.
Russian Evegeny Korotyshkin who finished tied with le Clos for the Olympic silver in London finished fifth in a time of 51.57.
After having a very successful Friday evening session it looked like Ryan Lochte did not have a lot left in the tank for the 100 butterfly finishing sixth in a time of 51.58.
Italian Matteo Rivolta finished tied for seventh with Yauhen Tsurkin of Belarus in a time of 51.65.
Tsurkin’s time broke his own national record of 51.78 that he set in the semi-finals.