Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Le Clos shines again, climbing to third place in World Cup series

Defending series champion Matthew Sates secured just one medal at the Indianapolis gala.

While younger compatriot Matthew Sates missed the overall podium, experienced swimmer Chad le Clos turned heads once again by closing out an impressive comeback campaign in the Fina World Cup short-course swimming series at the weekend.

Focusing on butterfly events, Le Clos earned another three medals – gold in the 100m (48.85) and 200m (1:49.89) finals and silver in the 50m sprint (22.27) – at the third and final leg of the series in Indianapolis.

Though he had not been considered among the title favourites going into the series, 30-year-old Le Clos completed the campaign with a total of nine medals (five gold and four silver) to finish third overall in the final standings.

Defending series champion Sates struggled, however, securing just one medal at the Indianapolis gala.

Not fast enough

After settling for fifth place in the 400m freestyle and sixth position in the 200m individual medley, 19-year-old Sates bounced back to win the 400m medley (4:04.12) on the last day of the lucrative annual series in the early hours of Sunday morning (SA time).

While he raked in nine medals (seven gold, one silver and one bronze) in total, however, the teenager’s times were not quick enough to challenge for the overall podium and he slipped down the rankings.

Matthew Sates at the Fina World Cup
Matthew Sates slid down the rankings at the final leg of the Fina World Cup. Picture: Getty Images

“I gave it my all… but I am recovering from a bit of fatigue from the previous races,” Sates said after the 400m medley.

“I was standing behind the blocks trying to build my confidence, so I’m happy with this result and I learned a lot about my body.”

ALSO READ: Sates warns he will be in ‘better shape’ at world short-course champs

Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago won the overall men’s World Cup title, finishing top of the final standings with 172.6 points, just 0.3 points ahead of American runner-up Nic Fink.

Four-time series winner Le Clos bagged 166.3 points to fill the bottom step on the overall podium, with Sates ending fifth in the series rankings on 154.1 points.

American swimmer Beata Nelson finished top of the overall women’s standings with 173.7 points.

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