Chad Le Clos (20) from Durban managed to deny the favourite, Michael Phelps, another gold medal by beating him in the 200m butterfly at the Olympic swimming pool on Tuesday 31 July. Trailing until the last 50m, Le clos managed to overtake Phelps and finish with a time of 1:52.96 beating his own national record by well over a second.
Le Clos admits that he has all Phelps’ races on computer which he studies and uses to learn from saying that Phelps has been an inspiration and role model for him. Asked how he felt about beating his childhood hero, Le Clos said he did not really know how he had done it adding that he thought he had been lucky. He said the last 25m felt like they were in slow-mo and he could just hear his coach saying ” keep it long and make sure you don’t shorten up.”
Le Clos’s medal added to the gold won by Cameron van der Burgh in the men’s 100m breaststroke final on Sunday.
South Africa currently sits in tenth position in the medal rankings with two gold medals and although Japan has scooped up 13 medals so far, they sit at number 11. China and the United States have found themselves comfortably seated at the top of the list.