Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
12 Aug 2016
6:23 am

Le Clos shakes off the nerves to reach 100m fly final

Wesley Botton

Chad Le Clos has booked his spot in the 100m butterfly final, to be held on Saturday morning, where he will attempt to defend his title as the reigning world champion.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Chad le Clos of South Africa competes Men's 100m Butterfly heat on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Coasting into the men’s 100m butterfly final in the early hours of Friday morning (SA time), Chad le Clos said he had recovered from his failure to earn a medal in his 200m title defence in his specialist stroke, as he targeted his second medal of the Rio Olympics.

After securing silver in the 200m freestyle earlier in the week, Le Clos had finished fourth in the 200m butterfly final two days ago to miss out on the podium, and was widely criticised for his pre-race antics in trying to intimidate American legend Michael Phelps.

Moving on in an attempt to focus on the 100m race, an event in which he is the reigning world champion, he said he was in a better space ahead of his last individual race of the Games, to be held on Saturday morning.

He qualified second fastest in the semifinals, touching the wall in 51.43, with Joseph Schooling of Singapore going quickest in the penultimate round in 50.83.

“I’m not quite there. Still shaken a bit from the other night, but that’s behind me and I’m just happy to be out there and shake the nerves out,” Le Clos said.

“I feel much better now than I did two days ago, so I’m happy with that.”

Le Clos said he might be withdrawn from the 4x100m medley relay event, with the heats set to be held later on Friday, in order to concentrate on the individual race.

“I’m not sure, I need to ask the coach (Graham Hill). They’ll decide for me,” he said.

“I’m just going race by race, day by day.”

Meanwhile, Brad Tandy scorched through his 50m freestyle semifinal in 21.80, qualifying for the final of swimming’s blue riband event, also to be held on Saturday morning.

Doug Erasmus had finished in 22.37 to end 29th in the rankings in the first-round heats and he was eliminated from the sprint event.

Elsewhere on day six of the Games, sailors Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim finished 15th and 14th in the third and fourth races of the men’s 470 class, while badminton player Jacob Maliekal also struggled to put up a fight, going down 2-0 to Korean world No 9 Son Wan-Ho in his opening match of the men’s singles competition.

The SA men’s golfers got off to a poor start in the first round.

Jaco van Zyl shot a 71, settling in a tie for 27th place, eight shots behind Australian leader Marcus Fraser, and Brandon Stone was four strokes further back in a tie for 56th.

Here are some images of South Africans performing on Day 6 of the 2016 Olympic Games: