Cape Town – Chad le Clos will have one last chance to add to his World Short Course Swimming Championships medal collection after missing out in the 50m butterfly.
The 10-time world champion in the 25m pool finished fourth in his 50m butterfly heat in a time of 23.02, well off his best time of 21.95 which he swam for gold and a then-championship record at the 2014 event.
That saw him finishing 20th overall and missing out on the semi-finals. That means he’ll miss out on a medal in the event for the first time since 2010, having claimed gold in 2014 and 2016 and silver in 2012 and 2018.
Teammate Brad Tandy, who claimed world short course bronze in the 50m freestyle in 2018, also missed out in the 50m butterfly. He finished ninth in his heat in 23.38 to finish 31st overall.
Incredibly, 41-year-old Nicholas Santos, progressed to Monday’s final with the second fastest semi-final time of the night (22.12). The Brazilian joint world record holder first competed at the World Short Course Championships almost 20 years ago, in 2002.
Meanwhile, the other South African in action on Sunday, Michaela Pulford, finished eighth in her 400m freestyle heat in 4:17.27. That saw here finishing 31st overall and missing out on Sunday’s final.
Le Clos’s final shot at adding to the silver and bronze he already has in the bag from these Championships is in the 100m freestyle. The heats and semi-finals will be contested on Monday, with the final on the last night of competition on Tuesday. The 29-year-old claimed a bronze in the event in 2018.
The only other South African swimmer in action on Monday will be Tayla Lovemore in the 100m butterfly heats.