Myles Brown held on for dear life to claim the 200m freestyle title from Olympic star Chad Le Clos at the SA championships in Durban on Wednesday night.
Le Clos failed to win either of his two races‚ including his favourite 200m butterfly‚ on a night he described as one of his worst.
Brown had the lead coming out of the final turn and he powered home to touch first in 1:47.44; Le Clos‚ unable to produce his trademark strong finish‚ clocked 1:47.89.
Both times beat the qualifying mark for the world championships in Kazan‚ Russia‚ in August.
“It was a nice race to win‚ especially racing against Chad in the 200m free‚” said Brown‚ who has also qualified in the 400m freestyle.
“All I was doing in that last lap was to hold on for dear life. I managed to hold on and hold him off. I was‚ of course‚ expecting more from him in that last 50m.”
Brown laughed off a suggestion that he had out-psyched Le Clos. “It’s very hard to get into Chad’s head‚ so I had to be alert at all times‚ especially when making that final turn.”
Brown was not entirely pleased with his time‚ which was outside the top 10 in the world rankings.
Le Clos agreed: “I was disappointed because of the time. If it was a 1:46 then it would be different. I think we (including Brown) were both slow.
“In a final there was pressure on both of us. I think we were focused on beating each other – which is something [coach] Graham Hill warned. I should have been more confident.”
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