Chad le Clos has taken a lighter schedule at the first stop of this Doha World Cup than we usually see from him, and so far that has paid off big for his sprinting.
On Thursday, he swam just a single final, the men’s 100 fly, and that paid off with a new South African National Record and a new global textile-best time of 48.70.
Fewer-and-fewer events are left with “textile bests” that are relevant, but many of these sprint events in short course meters had records that were just decimated in the 2008 and 2009 World Cup series. With the benefits gained from the polyurethane suits underwater, and with so many more underwaters in short course meters, many of these records are still distant. This event is one of them, where Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin was a 48.48 in Berlin in 2009.
Le Clos’ swim was faster than his old South African Record of 48.82 done at 2012 World Championships, and betters Tom Shields’ 48.80 from this Doha World Cup in 2013 as the best ever swim in textile.
Le Clos’ sprint times have been getting better-and-better over the last 18 months, and this should all lead up to his expected showdown with American Michael Phelps in the 100 fly at the 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games.