2017 SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL AQUATIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Monday, April 3rd – Saturday, April 8th
- Kings Park Pool, Durban, South Africa
- Event Schedule
- Day 1 Recap/Day 2 Recap/Day 3 Recap/Day 4 Recap
- Live Results
Olympian Chad Le Clos has been coming on strong in Durban, collecting his 3rd World Championships-qualifying mark of the South African National Championships meet. On night one, the 24-year-old fired off a lead-off split of 48.64 on his Western Cape Aquatics’ 4 x 100m freestyle relay, the fastest Le Clos has ever clocked in the Kings Park pool. Although the relay was eventually disqualified, Le Clos’ time falls under the 48.93 qualifying benchmark for Budapest, as well as checks-in as the 5th fastest time in the world this season.
Le Clos followed that performance up with more fireworks in the 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly events, where he won a gold medal in each. His freestyle time of 1:46.84 ranks as #2 in the world, as does his impressive outing of 1:55.00 achieved in the 200m butterfly. Having undergone significant changes in 2017, including moving to Cape Town and taking on a new coaching staff that includes Andrea di Nino and Bobby Hurley, Le Clos appears to have everything on track for the new quadrennial.
Post-racing tonight, Le Clos told SwimSwam that he’s ‘very happy’ with tonight’s 200m butterfly, as well as his earlier races. “This year has been a huge change for me, but so far everything has been on point. I’ve been very happy with Andrea and Bobby and the way we’ve been working together.”
Unshaven and unrested, Le Clos says he considers these South African National Championships as a mid-season meet, a stepping stone on his journey to this summer’s World Championships. Le Clos says he is coming into Budapest as “an underdog in all of my events, especially the 200m butterfly.” With Worlds taking place in Hungary, home swimmers Laszlo Cseh and Tamas Kenderesi will both prove to be a challenge in that particular event, says Le Clos, as well Japanese Olympic silver medalist in the event, Masato Sakai.
But, the South African says his “main focus is to just do my best,” which is never a bad strategy.