‘Chad Le Clos 2.0’ Produces Fastest SCM 200 Butterfly Of His Career

Retta Race
by Retta Race 5

December 15th, 2022 News


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
100m 52.39 51.55 53.65
200m 55.88 56.77 55.97
Final Time 1:48.27 1:48.32 1:49.62

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

  1. Tomoru Honda (JPN) – 1:46.85 2022
  2. Daiya Seto (JPN) – 1:48.24 2018
  3. Chad Le Clos (RSA) – 1:48.27 2022
  4. Tom Shields (USA) – 1:48.66 2020
  5. 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.

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Tracy Kosinski
9 months ago

Way to go CL!!!


9 months ago

Let me say this after this swim and he went 48.5 opening the SC season, Le Clos is on WR watch in the 100.

Reply to  PFA
9 months ago

No way

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  PFA
9 months ago


9 months ago

He is going to deliver something very special in the 100m butterfly. I loved his celebration and his father´s reaction. Its imposible not to like them

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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