No world mark, but perfect 27 wins out of 27 for le Clos
He failed in his second bid for a world record, but Chad le Clos is not complaining.
The South African ace won the 100m butterfly at the Fina/Mastbank Swimming World Cup at the Sports Hub's OCBC Aquatic Centre in 48.74 seconds, but was some way off the short-course world-record of 48.48sec he had been eyeing.
On Saturday, he also came within a whisker of lowering his own world record in the 200m butterfly, winning the race in 1:48.88 but missing the mark by 0.32.
Despite his two misses, the Olympic champion still finished on a high.
With last night's 100m fly victory, the 22-year-old made it a perfect 27 wins out of 27 in the World Cup series this year.
He is the first man to win all his races in each leg of the seven-stop series.
Asked which was more important to him - this season's golden haul or breaking the 100m fly short-course record held by Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin - le Clos said: "The 27 golds, definitely. Because, I know that the world record will come. And it's just a personal best.
"To get 27 wins, no silvers, no bronzes...
"No one's done that. I made history, and I'm really happy with that."
Le Clos is confident that he would be setting new world marks at the World Short-Course Swimming Championships in Doha, Qatar, next month.
"The world record will come at the end of the year, hopefully," he said.
"I want to try get close to all three world records, the 50m, the 100m and 200m butterfly.
"Winning three gold medals (a clean sweep in the butterfly event) has never been done before... so I'm trying to make history again."
Le Clos had another reason to celebrate. He finished the season at the top of the men's overall standings with 474 points, ahead of Hungary's Daniel Gyurta, who had 344 points, and American Tom Shields, who had 225 points.
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, meanwhile, finished as the top women's swimmer for a third year in a row.
She won two golds, a silver and a bronze from five races yesterday, and wrapped up her season with 994 points, way ahead of Dutchwoman Inge Dekker, who had 372 points, and Jamaica's Alia Atkinson, who scored 324 points.
Hosszu, nicknamed the "Iron Lady" for her dominance in the short-course pool, won a total of 51 golds, eight silvers and nine bronzes this year, and also set five new world records over the last 12 months.
Le Clos and Hosszu were each presented with a cheque of US$100,000 ($128,600) on top of the US$50,000 awarded to the top swimmers in the third cluster of races (Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing).
The winnings took Hosszu's total prize-money earnings over the last three years to an estimated US$1.2 million, and she claims she is the first swimmer to break the million-dollar mark.
Said the 25-year-old: "Winning the third overall title means a lot to me. I never dreamed of winning three times in a row."
There was also local joy yesterday, as butterfly specialist Tao Li clinched silver in the 50m in 25.72sec, just behind Dekker who clocked 25.13.
The 4x50m mixed freestyle relay team added a second silver. Russell Ong, Lukas Ming Menkhoff, Nur Marina Chan and Amanda Lim finished in 1:35.30, behind the Russian team who clocked 1:33.88.
On Saturday, Chan and Lim, together with Kenneth Lim and Kevin Ong, finished third in the mixed 4x50m medley relay.