By Elvin Liang and Merey Tan
Singapore Sports School, Tuesday, November 5, 2013 – Chad le Clos, 21, set a new world record of 1 minute 48.56 seconds in the men’s 200m butterfly at the 2013 FINA Swimming World Cup. His effort bettered the previous world record of 1:49.04 which he had set in August during the Eindhoven leg of this year’s series.
“For me, I wanted to be ahead of it (Eindhoven). I wanted to control the race, I wanted to dominate the race, and you know, I just wanted to make sure that I, even if I didn’t break it (record set in Eindhoven), I wanted to make sure I was in front of the line all the way until the end,” said the South African athlete. “This is my biggest short-course achievement definitely.”
To Chad, Singapore is a special place because he won five medals here at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the first time he had won a gold medal at an international meet. “This is my second world record, I’m really really happy to be here. Singapore welcomes me a lot.”
In the mixed 4x50m medley relay heats, Robert Hurley, Christian Sprenger, Alicia Coutts and Cate Campbell of Australia broke the record of 1:39.54 set by the French at the Doha leg, setting a new record of 1:39.08. However, that was not all. The thundery weather outside could not match to the thunderous cheers from the Australian supporters as they witnessed their relay quartet breaking the record again with a time of 1:38.02.
“Australia’s quite a strong team. We’ve got a good idea in mind to really hit these relays. Cate Campbell, myself, Rob Hurley, and Alicia Coutts are all Olympic medallists, so we’ve got a really strong team. We’ve always sort of chipped away at that world record and since it’s quite a new event, we have the opportunity to do that now,” said an elated Sprenger, who clinched a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 2012 Olympic Games.
“Over the next one or two meets in Japan and Beijing, we’re going to try to better it again. Hopefully by Beijing, we can have a really fast time on the board,” added Sprenger.
When asked the secret formula for setting two records in a day, Sprenger replied with a laugh. “We’ve got four great athletes. We work well together. I think we’re just really determined to be the best.”
Jamaican Alia Atkinson, her country’s only Olympic female swimmer, currently ranked third in the women’s standings, won the 100m breaststroke with a personal best timing of 1:03.48.
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