Swimming, Day 4 - Men's 200m butterfly: Le Clos succeeds Phelps as world champion

BCN2013 - Swimming

Chad Le Clos (RSA)Chad le Clos, who dethroned Michael Phelps as 200m butterfly Olympic champion, succeeded him as world champion, inheriting the crown after the retirement of the great American. The 21-year-old South African finished strongly to win in 1:54.32 ahead of former world champion Pawel Korzeniowski (POL), who had led into the last turn. Korzeniowski, gold medallist in the absence of Phelps in 2005 and silver medallist in 2009, claimed the silver in 1:55.01, with Peng Wu (CHN) collecting his fourth World Championship medal in the event, a bronze in 1:55.09 ahead of Chinese team-mate Yin Chen (1:55.47). Wu took silver in 2007 and bronze in 2005 and 2011.

Phelps had won the 200 fly title at five of the last six World Championships, having chosen not to defend it in 2005. Olympic bronze medallist Takeshi Matsuda (JPN), twice a silver medallist and once bronze at the Worlds, failed to make the final.

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World Record: Michael Phelps (USA), 1:51.51 – July 29, 2009 in Rome (ITA)Championships Record: Michael Phelps (USA), 1:51.51 – July 29, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Chad le Clos (RSA), 1:54.32 – July 31, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Michael Phelps (USA, 1:54.35); 2005 – Pawel Korzeniowski (POL, 1:55.02); 2007 – Michael Phelps (USA, 1:52.09); 2009 – Michael Phelps (USA, 1:51.51); 2011 – Michael Phelps (USA, 1:53.34)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Michael Phelps (USA, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009 & 2011)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Chad le Clos (RSA, 1:52.96), 2. Michael Phelps (USA, 1:53.01), 3. Takeshi Matsuda (JPN, 1:53.21)



QUOTES:

Gold medal winner: Chad Le Clos (RSA)

"I started the race a little bit nervous because my main goal was trying to win tonight. I just wanted to come to the World Championships and at least win one gold medal."

"Last year in London, I remember feeling really relaxed before my race. Today, I started feeling the butterflies. I just wanted to get out there and control the race, it was a lot different from last year's race."

"There's a funny story: in the last 100m, I was looking on the sides - I know it's a bad habit but I like to see what's on the field - then I saw the camera moving in lane eight to take the picture of the winner only to realise that I actually touched first."

"I took a 2-month break after the Olympics, then I had a lack of motivation due to an injury so after this, I wanted to make sure I was a 100% fit to train properly. I knew this year was going to be tough but 6 months later, I win a gold medal."

Silver medal winner: Pawel Korzeniowski (POL)

"I feel very good. I got the silver medal and I'm happy about that. I planned to swim the final next to Chad [Le Clos], close to him. He did a great final 50m and it helped me. I was actually thinking I could beat him and win the race."

Bronze medal winner: Peng Wu (CHN)

"This is my 6th and last World Championships, I have been competing for so long now. I am very satisfied with my final tonight, that was my goal to reach the final. I will retire after the China Games so I'm very happy to have won the bronze at these Championships."