Chad le Clos: Kristof Milak saved his best for last

South Africa's Chad le Clos finished fifth in the men's 200m butterfly final at the Tokyo Games. Clive Rose/Getty Images

South African swimmer Chad le Clos has expressed disappointment after finishing in fifth position in the men's 200m butterfly final at the Tokyo Games.

Le Clos led at the 100m split, but Hungary's Kristof Milak soon overtook the South African star and won in a time of 1:51.25 -- a new Olympic record.

Japan's Tomoru Honda claimed (1:53.73) silver and Italian Federico Burdisso (1:54.45) bronze.

"I was feeling really good and thought I was going to win at one stage," le Clos said.

"It stung real bad because I touched at 150m and I had a chance, but then coming back, my legs just stopped working and I could see them coming and thought I could maybe hang on.

"It sucks, but congratulations to Kristof, he was going to be tough to beat anyway. He saved his best for last so well played.

"I knew what I had to do, my game is solid. It just didn't work out, the body caught up to me, I don't know if the years caught up.

"I worked hard this year. It's sad because my mind and soul deserve better than this. But when you swim with these guys sometimes it just doesn't come together, it is what it is.

"I felt great and when I walked out there, I wasn't nervous at all. The body just didn't work or come back."

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Le Clos had the opportunity to add a third to South Africa's medal tally, after Tatjana Schoenmaker and Bianca Buitendag claimed swimming and surfing silvers, respectively.

"I stand here today with no excuses and my head held high. It's disappointing because I really wanted to give a medal to my country," he added.

"It's part of life, but it hurts a lot. It's not quite as bad as four years ago, but I'll be back, it's not the end.

"I'll get them again and get better. I'll get them before they get me and get them again, no problem."

Le Clos won the gold in the 200m butterfly at the 2012 London Games.