With five months to go, SA swimmers have work to do ahead of Olympics
Swimming Day Two of the Commonwealth Games. Roland Schoeman (silver) and Chad le Clos (bronze) in action in the 50m Butterfly. Benjamin Proud of England won the gold. Picture: Sascoc
England’s Ben Proud was first out of the blocks and always had the edge in the butterfly 50m to set a new Games record of 22.93 seconds.
The previous record of 23.14 dates back to Schoeman’s gold in Melbourne in 2006, which he improved by one hundredth of a second in securing the silver, while Le Clos clocked 23.36 for bronze.
“An 11th Commonwealth medal is something special,” said Schoeman who received a text suggesting he was too old to continue.
“Something like that motivates me. I can think of no better day-job than to be a professional athlete. I get to travel the world , meet interesting people. There is nothing better.
“I think I’m learning to value the journey more – this is my fifth Commonwealth Games,” added the 34-year-old.
“It was quicker than eight years ago and I believe I’m on target to go 22.8 at some stage, but that wasn’t meant to be at this time.
“A silver’s a silver and Ben Proud’s a worthy champion tonight.”
Le Clos, who made vast improvements over the sprint distances at the Games, said it was great to have two South Africans on the podium.
“If you had asked me in Johannesburg a week ago I would have been ecstatic to get bronze,” said the 22-year-old, who set his personal best in the heats.
“Today I had a vision of becoming the first person ever to do the triple (50m, 100m and 200m butterfly).
“I still have the ambition to become the most decorated swimmer at any Commonwealth Games. This bronze kicks that off towards the planned seven medals.”
Le Clos has a hectic schedule and had to withdraw from the 400 individual medley due to illness that stopped him from training for almost a week.
He and Schoeman rushed through the mixed zone to prepare for the 4 x 100m freestyle relay.
Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits