South African Chad le Clos can’t wait to race Joseph Schooling again

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Singapore's Joseph Schooling (R) celebrates with South Africa's Chad le Clos after in the 100m butterfly in Rio
Singapore's Joseph Schooling (R) celebrates with South Africa's Chad le Clos after in the 100m butterfly in Rio

Four years ago, Chad le Clos stunned two-time Olympic champion and world record-holder Michael Phelps to win the 200-metre butterfly gold at the London Games.

But the South African could not repeat the feat in Rio earlier this year as he finished fourth behind Phelps, who retook the title. He also finished second behind Singapore’s Joseph Schooling in the 100m butterfly. Le Clos left the Olympics without a gold and plenty of disappointment.

“I had the best training ever [and] there's no one that trained like I did before the Olympic Games so the disappointment I am feeling right now is, I think, because of the way I trained,” he told local media on Thursday afternoon.

“In terms of training, my training was spot on, preparation was perfect and it just didn’t happen.”

His haul of one gold and three silvers still makes him South Africa’s most-decorated Olympian ever and Le Clos is already bouncing back from Rio.

Competing at the various World Cup legs and “kicking a**” has helped him cope with Rio and le Clos is eager to face off again with the likes of Schooling.

But the 24-year-old, who is in Singapore to compete at the two-day FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup leg that starts on Friday, refused to make any excuses for his less-than-ideal display in Rio.

This is despite learning that his parents had cancer during the lead-up to the Games. His mother’s breast cancer returned after six years of remission and has since undergone chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. Father Bert had an operation in June for prostate cancer.

“It was a very difficult time for my parents but in sport there are no excuses,” Le Clos asserted. “When I won in London, I wouldn’t have wanted anybody to come out and make excuses, so for me I wouldn’t make excuses.

“It’s not the way I was raised and the only thing I can do now is to prepare for the world championships [next year] and we’ll see from there.”

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 05:  Chad Le Clos of South Africa competes in the Men's 100m Butterfly heats during day two of the FINA Swimming World Cup Dubai 2016 at Hamdan Sports Complex  on October 5, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 05: Chad Le Clos of South Africa competes in the Men's 100m Butterfly heats during day two of the FINA Swimming World Cup Dubai 2016 at Hamdan Sports Complex on October 5, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Le Clos keen to race Schooling again

Le Clos and Schooling are likely to go head to head at the world championships in Budapest next July, where Hungarian Laszlo Cseh will also be a home favourite.

“There’s never a fear of that, I always feel I can win,” he said when asked whether the thought of never winning Olympic gold again has crossed his mind. “Joseph won in a really fast time, he knocked us out of the park…

“As hard as it was for me, you can look at things as negatives and be depressed about it or you can look at it as an opportunity to get better, because I don’t think I'm going to get worse.

“I pride myself on racing the best swimmers in the world, as tough as it is... I have this never-say-die attitude.

“Next year at the world championships, Jo Schooling has to be there – I’d rather lose to Schooling than win if he’s not there. That’s the way I like to roll.”

The Singaporean is currently back in Texas for his university studies and the fiercely-competitive le Clos revealed his humorous side when asked whether he would have liked to see Schooling here for the competition.

“Of course I am disappointed, I got told he was coming, that’s why I came here!” he joked. “You guys tricked me here. Come on. Where are you, Joseph?

“I would have loved to race him here, of course... I would have come anyway, of course, just joking.”

The FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2016 presented by Yakult (SWC) takes place on October 21 and 22 at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. Le Clos is swimming in the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly and the 50m freestyle. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.sportshub.com.sg/sportshubtix/Pages/FINA-World-Cup-2016.aspx.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting