Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos brought the curtain down at the 2015 South African National Aquatic Championships with his third gold medal on Saturday evening.
Le Clos was in dominant form, touching the wall in first place with a time of 52.03 seconds in the 100m butterfly event. He was followed by Nico Meyer in 53.68 seconds, with George du Rand bagging bronze posting a time of 54.88.
Le Clos bowed out of the six-day meet with four qualifying times for the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia in August.
He posted qualifying standards in the 200m freestyle, butterfly and Individual Medley and the 100m butterfly.
He was on top in three of his four individual races with training partner Myles Brown taking the spoils in the 200m freestyle to relegate Le Clos to second place.
“I was aiming to time 51 seconds but I think I did pretty decent tonight,” Le Clos said. “I am happy with my 200m IM and 100m fly tonight; I really needed to qualify in the fly events.”The 100m free was practice for me so that’s why I scratched out. The butterfly and medley events are my focus at this point.”
Le Clos said he expected faster times in the 200m butterfly and freestyle events. The final day of the championships saw three world qualifying times posted.
Sebastien Rousseau, one of the standout swimmers this week, attained his second qualifying time on Saturday evening.
He won the men’s 400m Individual Medley posting a time of 4:16.07 with Michael Meyer touching the wall one second later, to bag the silver medal in 4:19.48 and Jarryd Baxter taking third place in 4:26.92.
One of the surprise packages on the final day was Ayton Sweeney earning his spot to represent South Africa for the World Championships in the 200m breaststroke. Sweeney dipped below the qualifying standard by 0.02 seconds in a time of 2:11.64.
Swimming legend Roland Schoeman confirmed his status as sprint king as he won the 50m freestyle in 22.50 seconds. Douglas Erasmus finished in second place in a time of 22.93 with Shaun Harris shortly on his heels in 22.96.
No women qualified for the World Champs, which is a major concern for South African swimming.
2015 FINA World Championships Qualifiers:
Myles Brown – 200m, 400m & 800m Freestyle
Cameron van der Burgh – 100m & 200m Breaststroke
Ayrton Sweeney – 200m Breaststroke
Chad le Clos – 100m & 200m Butterfly, 200m Freestyle & 200m Individual Medley,
Sebastien Rousseau – 200m Butterfly & 400m Individual Medley