The 2017 Swimming South Africa Grand Prix Series continued with its 3rd stop over the weekend at the Kings Park Swimming Pool in Durban. Olympians Chad Le Clos, Calvyn Justus and Myles Brown were among the competitors who took part in the two-day event on February 4th and 5th, with Le Clos giving us a glimpse into how his new training environment is coming along. As announced last month, Le Clos has paired up with Italian Andrea di Nino and Australian Bobby Hurley as his new coaching staff headed toward the 2020 Olympics.
Le Clos kicked off the meet with a sub-50-second prelims time in the men’s 100m freestyle (49.1), but the 24-year-old false started and rendered himself disqualified in the event. Douglas Erasmus took advantage of the 2016 Olympic silver medalist’s absence, scoring the 100m freestyle win in a time of 50.46, just .03 ahead of Justus who took silver in 50.49. Brown wound up on the podium as well, collecting bronze in 50.64.
18-year-old Matthew Meyer took the men’s 400m freestyle in a time of 3:51.57, a personal best by almost 4 solid seconds. Brown is the National Record Holder in the event with the 3:45.92 he registered in Rio, however, the Seagulls opted out of the event in Durban this weekend, making the 100m his only event.
Le Clos also opted out of two of his bread and butter events, the men’s 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle, focusing on the 100m distance of the fly discipline instead. After touching in 52.63 in the morning for the top seed, Le Clos checked in with a swift 52.20 in the evening, composed of 24.75/27.45 splits. The time now renders Le Clos as the 2nd-fastest swimmer in the world in the event this season, sitting only .01 off of the 52.19 Italy’s Piero Codia earned in December.
The men’s 200m backstroke also saw Le Clos top the podium, with the dynamo touching in 2:00.49 to win the race by over 2 seconds.
The final South African Grand Prix takes place on February 24th through the 26th at Stellenbosch University Swimming Pool.