Struggling Le Clos comes back to win 100m

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MIXED FORTUNES: South Africa’s Chad le Clos bounces back in Perth after struggling on the opening day. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

SOUTH African star Chad le Clos recovered his winning form on the second day of the Aquatic Super Series in Perth.

The Olympic gold medallist shrugged off his moderate efforts on the first day to win the men’s 100m butterfly on Saturday.

With $500000 (R4.85-million) in prize money up for grabs in the five- nation event over the two nights, Le Clos was disappointing in three swims on Friday.

The 2013 world champion finished second to Japanese teenager Daiya Seto in the 200m butterfly and was unplaced in the 200m individual medley and 50m butterfly.

Le Clos, 21, had to come from behind in the 100m butterfly, with Australian Daniel Lester setting the early pace. However, he appeared to win with something in reserve, touching in a time of 52.66 just to beat Australian Christopher Wright by 0.12sec, with Lester third in 53.05.

Le Clos also placed third in the men’s 400m individual medley after China’s Wang Shun, who initially appeared to have pipped him to the finish line, was disqualified. Le Clos was happy to be on the board and admitted his form had been below what he hoped.

“It has been a tough couple of days for me,” he said.

While it was an event of mixed fortunes for Le Clos, rising star Kosuke Hagino notched his second and third wins of what was an impressive meet for the Japanese men.

He won the 200m individual medley on Friday, then claimed the 200m freestyle in 1:46.35, beating Australian Cameron McEvoy by 0.33sec.

He then took out the men’s 400m individual medley from countryman Seto, with Le Clos missing a place.

There was a major upset in the women’s 400m individual medley, with Ye Shiwen beaten out of a place in the event in which she won gold at the London Olympics. Japanese teenager Miyu Otsuka won the event from China’s Zhou Min.

Ye, who won the 200m individual medley on Friday, finished fourth.

Australia won the overall points tally for the meet comfortably, with Japan second. – AFP

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