Le Clos stuns Phelps to win gold
Chad le Clos edged his idol, 15-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps, to clinch South Africa's second gold medal of the London Olympic Games on Tuesday.
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"It's a dream come true. Michael Phelps is an idol to me and he still is," Le Clos said after the race.
"I can't believe I beat him in the final. It is something that I've lived over in my mind a million times.
"I'm still shocked that I've won. I can't believe it."
The 20-year-old swam the race of his life as he shocked the esteemed American in the men's 200 metres butterfly final.
Phelps led for most of the race but Le Clos fought back to edge him by 0.05 hundredths of a second.
At the final turn Le Clos was still in third place, with Phelps comfortably in the lead and eventual bronze medallist Takeshi Matsude of Japan lying second.
The South African, however, sprung the surprise of the evening as he got his hand to the wall first, clocking a time of one minute, 52.96 seconds (1:52.96), smashing his own national record, which he had set the night before in the semifinals, by well over a second.
Phelps, the defending champion, finished second in 1:53.01.
Le Clos's medal added to the gold won by Cameron van der Burgh in the men's 100m breaststroke final on Sunday.
It was Le Clos's second final at the Games after he finished fifth in the men's 400m individual medley final on Saturday.
Earlier, Gideon Louw failed to progress beyond the semifinals of the men's 100m freestyle.
Louw finished fourth in his race in a time of 48.44, missing out on a place in the final by 0.06 seconds.
He had recorded a personal best of 48.29 in the morning heats.
An hour after the butterfly final, Le Clos was back in the water, swimming the third leg of the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final.
The SA quartet, consisting of Darian Townsend, Sebastien Rousseau, Le Clos and Jean Basson, got off to a superb start, with Townsend going out hard on the first leg.
They faded, however, with Rousseau dropping back on the second leg, and they were unable to close the gap, clocking seven minutes, 09.65 seconds (7:09.65) for seventh place.
The United States won in 6:59.70, with Phelps bagging his 15th Olympic gold medal.