Chad Le Clos became South Africa’s most decorated Olympic medallist when he ended in a three-way tie for silver alongside Michael Phelps at the Rio Olympics on Friday night.
Joseph Schooling of Singapore won his nation’s first-ever gold in a 50.39 Olympic record.
Le Clos‚ the world champion in this event‚ Phelps and Laszlo Cseh produced a great finish to touch simultaneously in 51.14 for second spot.
Four years ago Le Clos shared the silver with Russian Yevgeny Korotyshkin behind Phelps.
Le Clos now has a collection of one gold and three silvers‚ surpassing the three shared by swimmers Penny Heyns and Roland Schoeman‚ and old-timers from 1920‚ tennis player Charles Winslow and athlete Bevil Rudd.
Heyns and Winslow‚ however‚ won two golds.
For Le Clos‚ the medal offered some redemption after ending fourth in the butterfly 200m earlier in the week.
“It’s been a difficult week for me. The 200m fly‚ like I said‚ a terrible‚ terrible day for me‚ but I bounced back in some ways and we’ll learn from this‚ we’ll make adjustments and improve for the future.
“It still stings‚ I can’t pretend like I’m too happy. I’m not. But this is the Olympic Games‚ I have to have respect‚ I can’t come here and be terribly disappointed with two silvers.
“If you’d asked me 10 years ago would you want three silvers and a gold at the Olympic Games‚ I would have taken it with both hands … but I have strong aspirations for the future.”
Brad Tandy clocked a 21.79 personal best as he ended tied for sixth place in the 50m freestyle behind American veteran Anthony Ervin‚ who won his first Olympic gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
On the athletics track‚ Wayde van Niekerk won his 400m heat to advance to the semifinals on Saturday.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport