The 2015 KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Championships took place at Kings Park Center over the weekend, with main man Chad Le Clos making an appearance across several events. The LCM competition took place from December 16th through December 20th with some surprising times logged.
For Olympic champion Le Clos, he could have swum any number of events, having shown his power across disciplines ranging from the 200m backstroke to the 200m IM to the 200m freestyle. This meet, however, the 23-year-old stuck to the 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle events, but added the rather unexpected 100m freestyle, an event in which he doesn’t swim regularly.
Representing the Seagulls Swim Club, Le Clos threw down an impressive 1:55.32 in-season 200m butterfly to take the win by almost 5 seconds. The time, while well-off his 2015 best of 1:53.68, which earned him the silver at the 2015 FINA World Championships, was swifter than his 1:55.80 that he clocked at the Doha World Cup and places him #1 in the world rankings so far this 2015-16 LCM season.
Le Clos also nailed a speedy effort in the 200m freestyle, logging a time of 1:47.86 to hold off Seagulls’ teammate Calvyn Justus who would wind up with the silver in a time of 1:49.69. Le Clos split 53.22/54.64 for his gold medal-winning swim and his 1:47.86 was just over a second behind his 1:46.53 outing which rendered the South African 6th place in Kazan.
The 100m freestyle is where Le Clos really turned some heads, however, as he raced his way to a winning time of 48.83. Not only did that time claim the gold ahead of Seagull teammates Clayton Jimmie (49.29) and Justus (50.06), it marked the only sub-49 outing of the entire field. The time serves as Le Clos’ 2nd-fastest this season, sitting behind the 48.38 he clocked to earned silver in the event behind Frenchman Jeremy Stravius at the World Cup Dubai. Again, for this being an in-season meet, Le Clos is clearly happy with his results:
Also taking wins over the weekend were Ayrton Sweeney with gold medals in the 200m IM (2:03.39), 400 IM 4:23.78, 100m breaststroke (1:03.38) and 200m breaststroke (2:14.08), as well as Myles Brown who logged the win in the men’s 400m freestyle (3:49.96). In addition to his silver in the 200m freestyle, Justus also won the 100m backstroke in a mark of 55.57. Clayton Jimmie did some damage on the sprint butterfly races, claiming wins in the 50m butterfly (24.36) and 100m butterfly (54.20).