Gold but no world record for Le Clos
He looked odds-on to be the first swimmer to set a world record at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
At the Fina/Mastbank Swimming World Cup yesterday, the gold was never in doubt - Chad le Clos was well under the short course world record time for most of his swim in the 200m butterfly final.
The 22-year-old South African swam the first 50m in 24.08sec, 0.60 faster than his own record split set at the Singapore Sports School last year.
He reached the halfway mark in 51.63, an incredible 1.33 under his previous mark, and when Le Clos touched the wall at 150m, he was still 0.87 under his best split of 1:19.94.
But he "lost focus" in the final 25 metres, winning gold in 1:48.88, missing the world record by 0.32.
He was still all smiles, though, after his swim, and admitted: "I looked up and saw the split at 150m and I thought I was going to be okay (to break the world record).
"It's more important for me to break the record at the World Championships in Doha in December."
But he promised the fans he will have another crack at a world record tonight in the 100m butterfly.
Russian Yevgeny Korotyshkin holds the current record of 48.48, while Le Clos' personal best is 48.59.
"I think I can get it, I have a strong feeling," he teased.
"If I can swim the way I did tonight, I have a good chance. Even if I don't get it, I'll be close."
Regardless, Le Clos is still on track to become the first man to go through the entire World Cup series unbeaten, after also winning the 50m butterfly final in 21.98, taking his tally to 26 golds in just this season alone.
Meanwhile, Hungary's Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu cemented her legendary status by winning three more golds in the women's 200m freestyle (1:53.63), 200m individual medley (2:06.01) and 200m backstroke (2:05.00).
According to husband and coach Shane Tusup, she has a record 121 World Cup gold medals since 2012.
The 25-year-old Katinka also picked up two silvers in the 800m freestyle and 100m butterfly and finished fourth in the 50m backstroke and fifth in the 50m freestyle.
"I'm super competitive and I always like to race, but I'm also not afraid to lose, that's why I'm swimming in so many events," she said.
Jamaica's Alia Atkinson also made a strong statement and a big splash in the women's 100m breaststroke when she won gold in 1:02.54, more than half a second ahead of Lithuania's world record holder, Ruta Meilutyte, who took silver in 1:03.05.
Atkinson said: "If she didn't know before that I'm there, she knows now. I'm less than 0.2s off her world record and I know I can go faster."
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