Le Clos Lightens Load, Takes 100 Free/50 Fly Combo In Stellenbosch

2020 SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND PRIX (STELLENBOSCH)

Meet Highlights

27-year-old Olympian Chad Le Clos was in front of his home nation crowd today in Stellenbosch, racing in multiple events at the Grand Prix.

Le Clos set himself up yesterday as the top-seeded swimmer in the men’s 100m free, clocking a prelims time of 50.00 yesterday evening. Today, it took just 50.76 for the ISL Energy Standard team member to wind up on top, splitting 24.71/26.05 in his first domestic competition of 2020.

Although he raced in the 200m fly prelim yesterday and earned the 2nd seed in a time of 2:00.44, Le Clos opted out of the final, instead taking on the 50m fly event.

It was teammate Doug Erasmus who landed lane 4 for the 50m fly final after getting ahead of Le Clos 24.48 to 24.65 in the heats. Today, however, Le Clos got it done in 23.98 to represent the only swimmer to log a time under the 24-second threshold.

Just for perspective, the top men’s 50m flyer in the world right now is Oleg Kostin of Russia, who owns a season-best of 22.84 from the CISM World Military Games.

Le Clos will not be in action on day 2 of this meet.

World Championships semi-finalist Erin Gallagher made her mark early on the meet, winning the women’s 100m fly in a time of 59.40. That outperformed the next closest swimmer, African Junior Games standout Dune Coetzee, by a wide margin with Coetzee settling for silver in 1:02.41 after clocking 1:01.90 in the heats. Gallagher owns the national record in this event with her lifetime best of 57.67.

Next up for the Seagulls swimmer was the 50m back, where Gallagher managed to edge out Kerryn Herbst by just .03. Gallagher stopped the clock in 30.12 to Herbst’s 30.15.

Gallagher was denied the 50m free gold, however, as 16-year-old Knysna Dragons swimmer Aimee Canny busted out 25.63 for the victory. Gallagher was just behind in 25.74 for silver.

Additional Notes:

  • 18-year-old Christin Mundell got her hands on the wall first in the women’s 100m breast, with the Tuks swimmer notching 1:08.82 to represent the only swimmer under 1:10
  • The women’s 200m IM saw Rebecca Meder get it done for gold in 2:15.35.
  • 15-year-old Pieter Coetzee was impressive in the men’s 100m back, with the Otters Rustenburg athlete collecting the top prize in 56.20. That’s a solid effort for the teen, considering his relay lead-off at the World Junior Championships last season checked in at 56.11.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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