By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Chad le Clos finished fifth in the men's Tokyo Olympics 200m butterfly final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Wednesday.
Swimming in lane three, Le Clos got off to a fast start, as he was the first swimmer to turn at the half-way point at the 100m mark.
But Hungarian's powerful Kristof Malik powered to take the gold in 1:51.25.
Le Clos touched the wall 3.68 seconds later as the South African finished a disappointing fifth in 1:54.93.
Japan's Tomoru Honda took silver in 1:53.73 and Italian Federico Burdisso rounded up the podium with a bronze medal (1:54.45).
Le Clos, who is South Africa's most decorated Olympian, hoped to add to South Africa's medal tally at this year's Games, which currently sits at two.
The 29-year-old will now focus his attention on the 100m butterfly heats scheduled for Thursday (12:56 SA time).
Men’s 200m butterfly final results:
1 Kristof Milak (Hungary) 1:51.25
2 Tomoru Honda (Japan) 1:53.73
3 Federico Burdisso (Italy) 1:54.45
4 Tamas Kenderesi (Hungary) 1:54.52
5 Chad le Clos (RSA) 1:54.93
6 Leonardo de Deus (Brazil) 1:55.19
7 Gunnar Bentz (USA) 1:55.46
8 Krzysztof Chmielewski (Poland) 1:55.88.