Double 2016 Olympics silver medallist Chad le Clos won two gold medals on day one of the Dubai leg of the FINA/airweave World Cup on Tuesday.
More than 210 swimmers offered a spectacular show but multiple-time Olympic and world champion and world record holder Katinka Hosszu of Hungary made the headlines.
The swimmer nicknamed the ‘Iron Lady’, who claimed on Monday the World Cup is ‘resting time’ for her, clinched gold in four events (200m free, 50m back, 200m IM, 800m) in total so far, while she also managed to get two silvers (100m fly, 200m back) across all her registered events.
Day one was equally highlighted by Le Clos’ performances. Le Clos, 24, easily reminded everyone that he is the best in the butterfly events, and won both the 50m (22.08sec) and 200m butterfly events.
According to the official FINA website, Hosszu and Le Clos have been the most successful swimmers here as Hosszu took eight golds in 2012 and 2014, and still collected three more golds in 2015. Le Clos’ best year was 2011 with six golds, to which he added two more last year to his impressive Dubai tally (this is without the meet currently taking place).
The competition was officially opened at the state-of-the-art Hamdan Sports Complex, also called the Pearl in the Dessert, with welcoming speeches from UEA Swimming Federation President Ahmad Abdulla Al Falasi and FINA President Dr. Julio Maglione.
Le Clos’ countryman and 50m breast world record holder Cameron van der Burgh was absent on Tuesday but Roland Schoeman represented the nation in this event by ranking fourth. The winner of the event was Felipe Lima (BRA, 26.02), who also won the race last weekend in Beijing. Another South African Olympian in Rio, Brad Tandy took fifth behind Schoeman.
Schoeman took a silver medal in the 50m fly which was won by Le Clos (RSA) as expected.
The South African champion, who with his two Rio Olympic silver medals (100m fly and 200m free) became South Africa’s most decorated Olympian in history, impressed on Tuesday by grabbing gold in the 200m fly in 1:49.71. He was closely followed by Japan’s Daiya Seto and Germany’s Philip Heintz. He was also part of the relay team but narrowly missed the podium with a fourth place.
Bobby Hurley was the fastest in the 400m free race and secured the title in 3:41.94. Myles Brown (SA), first last weekend in Beijing, touched the wall after him (3:41.3) in front of Great Britain’s James Guy.
Marco Koch gave Germany its first medal of the meet in the 200m breast in 2:03.41. The German has now won this event 11 times at the World Cup. Philip Heintz brought home a second medal with the 100m IM (silver) and a third one with the 400m IM, also silver.
Picture of Le Clos in Dubai action courtesy of Getty Images