2022 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, December 13 to Sunday, December 18, 2022
- Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, Melbourne, Australia
- SCM (25m)
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South African Chad Le Clos‘ career resurgence continues, as the 30-year-old just put up the fastest SCM 200 butterfly of his career en route to gold.
Stopping the clock in a time of 1:48.27, Le Clos dominated the men’s 200m fly field, beating out runners-up Daiya Seto of Japan and Noe Ponti of Switzerland by nearly a second. Seto settled for silver in 1:49.22 while Ponti rounded out the top 3 in 1:49.42 for bronze.
Entering this meet, Le Clos’ lifetime best in this event rested at the 1:48.32 he logged at the 2018 edition of these Short Course World Championships. That result in Hangzhou, China rendered Le Clos the new African Record holder and the silver medalist behind Seto.
3 years later in Abu Dhabi Le Clos dropped down one level to grab the bronze, hitting a slower mark of 1:49.84.
Flash forward to this year and Le Clos has been on a tear, putting elite racers on notice during the FINA World Cup Series. During the Berlin stop, ‘Chad 2.0’ logged a time of 1:49.62, with his performance representing the season racer’s fastest time in 2 years.
Comparing his splits among this new African Record, his own previous African Record and the aforementioned season-best, Le Clos seems to have found his sweet spot of how to approach the race. Whereas he went out guns blazing in the 2018 performance, he was more patient this time around to maintain his speed through the back half.
|New African Record||Old African Record (2018)||Season Best|
Le Clos’ outing here maintains the South African Olympic champion’s position as the 3rd fastest performer of all time.
All-Time SCM 200 Butterfly Performers
- Tomoru Honda (JPN) – 1:46.85 2022
- Daiya Seto (JPN) – 1:48.24 2018
- Chad Le Clos (RSA) – 1:48.27 2022
- Tom Shields (USA) – 1:48.66 2020
- Laszlo Cseh (HUN) – 1:49.00 2015
Le Clos has had a tumultuous past couple of years with the multi-Olympic medalist dealing with mental health issues and, more recently, a change in his training environment. You can read more about his journey along the comeback trail here.