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ISTANBUL, Turkey - South Africa’s Olympic 100m butterfly champion Chad Le Clos added the world short course crown to his collection on Thursday night with a commanding victory in the final.
Le Clos won in 48.82sec, ahead of American duo Thomas Shields, in 49.54sec, with Ryan Lochte, who captured gold in the 200m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay on Wednesday, taking bronze in 49.59sec.
“I was a little nervous before the final. Lochte was a bit of an unknown. But I had him and Shields in the lanes next to mine, so it was a good set-up on both sides,” said the 20-year-old Le Clos, whose time was a championship record.
Japanese teenager Daiya Seto won his first international title with victory in the 400m medley.
The 18-year-old’s 3min 59.15sec pushed the great Hungarian Laszlo Cseh, who clocked 4:00.50, into second place. Cseh, a seven-time European champion, has still to claim a world title.
“I did not feel good in the butterfly leg, but I tried to fight. In the backstroke leg I could relax and finish well,” said Seto.
“Even though this is short course, these are still world championships and I am very excited. This victory is going to give me confidence for the long course competitions.”
Seto wasn’t the youngest winner on the night.
That honour went to 15-year-old Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte who won the women’s 50m breaststroke, having taken a long spell out of the sport following her 100m gold at the Olympics.
The teenager won in a time of 29.44sec ahead of Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, in 29.67, and Sarah Katsoulis of Australia in 29.94sec.
“I really didn’t expect it,” said Meilutyte. “At the moment it feels just like I have swum a normal race, but it will start sinking in. It’s crazy.”
America’s Olympic 100m backstroke champion Matt Grevers won his first individual world title over the same distance, dethroning favourite Stanislav Donets of Russia. Grevers touched in 49.89sec with Donets in 49.91sec.
“Stanislav is without doubt the king of the short course and I am the king of the long course,” said Grevers. “I considered myself pretty good, but he was as well. I am glad I beat him on this one.”
* SOWETAN LIVE ED'S NOTE TO TV COMMENTATORS: How to pronounce Chad le Clos's name
- Chad's surname originates from his dad's roots in Mauritius, so it is pronounced with a silent 's'.
Like you would not pronounce the letter 's' in the word 'island', that's how you would say Chad's surname; So it is like Le Cloh (with a silent letter 's').