SA wins its second medal at Rio Olympics

That follows Cameron van der Burgh winning silver in the 100 metres breaststroke yesterday morning.

South Africa’s Chad Guy Bertrand Le Clos poses with his silver medal on the podium of the Men’s 200m Freestyle during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on 8 August, 2016. Picture: AFP.

RIO DE JANEIRO - South Africa has won its second medal of the Olympic Games in Rio after Chad le Clos won silver in the 200 metres freestyle a short while ago.

That follows Cameron van der Burgh winning silver in the 100m breaststroke yesterday morning.

Le Clos, in lane one, took the race to the field blistering out in 23.39 well under world record pace. He still led at the halfway mark but the field came back to him after turning at 150m.

At the point, it looked as if his fast start might take its toll as he started to falter and China's Sun Yang surged to the front but with 15m to go, Le Clos kicked in with the afterburners.

Yang responded to taunts about his doping history in emphatic fashion on Monday by becoming the first Chinese swimmer to win the Olympic men's 200m freestyle gold medal.

France's Yannick Agnel, who won gold in London four years ago, was absent after being eliminated in the heats.

Monday's victory was the third gold of Sun's Olympic career, and sixth medal, adding to the 400m and 1,500m titles he won in London.

Britain's world champion James Guy, whose roommate Adam Peaty stormed to breaststroke gold on Sunday and ended his country's 28 year wait for a male Olympic swimming champion, finished fourth.

In his delight at winning, Sun took off his swimming cap and attempted to throw it to Chinese supporters in the crowd above him, but it landed in the pool and he had to retrieve it.

It was not his first misstep of a controversial week that has seen a splashing incident in training escalate into a battle conducted via the media between him and his Australian rivals.

A Chinese state newspaper described Australia as "uncivilised" and "Britain's offshore prison" as it rushed to Sun's defense after he was labeled a drugs cheat by Australian 400m freestyle gold medalist Mack Horton.

Sun was revealed two years ago to have secretly served a three-month suspension for using a banned stimulant.

He said it was medication to treat a heart issue and did not enhance performance.

Meanwhile, Ryan Murphy won the men's 100m backstroke gold at the Rio Olympics on Monday to extend the US run of domination in the event to six successive Games dating back to Atlanta in 1996.

China's Xu Jiayu took the silver and David Plummer, making his Games debut at the age of 30, the bronze for the United States.

The 2012 champion in the event, Matt Grevers, was unable to defend his title after failing to qualify at the US trials.

Murphy's winning time of 51.97 seconds was an Olympic record and just outside the world record of 51.94 set by compatriot Aaron Peirsol in 2009 when non-textile bodysuits were allowed.

Additional information by Reuters