Chad Le Clos: “I’ve Waited So Long For This Moment” (Day 3 Flash Quotes)


After introducing us to Le Clos 2.0 during the World Cup, Chad Le Clos stormed home in the final of the men’s 200 butterfly at the Short Course World Championships in Melbourne, closing with a 55.78 back half to secure the gold medal.

Le Clos’ winning time of 1:48.27 is a new lifetime best and breaks his own African Record of 1:48.32 set at the 2018 SC Worlds in Hangzhou, China.

The win was clearly an emotional one for him, as he pointed to his father in stands to celebrate. After the race, he spoke about what the win meant to him.

“I have no words,” he said. “I am just so grateful that I have my coach behind me. I am coming from such a tough place right now, and I am sorry that I am emotional. To be a world champion is like a dream come true again.

“It means so much to me and my family. I have been waiting so long for this moment. I have been waiting four years to become world champion again. It comes after defeat after defeat. Tonight I  had to fight back against defeat. Thank you to my coach and thank you to my team.

“It’s just a mindset change that came about just in the last few weeks. I want to say congrats to Daiya (Seto) and to Noe (Ponti), both huge competitors and I have a lot of respect for both of them. You can see that it means so much to me.”

Earlier in the meet, the 30-year-old finished fifth in the 50 fly (22.11). His last event in Melbourne is the 100 fly, where he holds the championship record in 48.08, and will aim to reclaim the world record which was broken by Caeleb Dressel (47.78) in 2020.

Other Day 3 Flash Quotes

Kyle Chalmers Swam His 100 Freestyle Eyes Closed 

In a thrilling race packed with big names, King Kyle earned the win in the men’s 100 freestyle in front of a home crowd. He did so to the tune of a new championship record, clocking 45.16 and coming within 32 one-hundredths of his own world record. A Short Course World Championship gold was one of the big boxes left in his career that Kyle Chalmers wanted to tick. 

“I swam with my eyes closed,” he said. “I knew exactly how to execute my own race. If I close my eyes, then I don’t get carried away swimming someone else’s race. I just close my eyes and try to get my hand on the wall as fast as I can. I don’t think it’s a relief, I think it’s something that I am so proud of. It’s something that I dreamed of doing since I was a kid.

“I had to pull out of the last three world short course championships due to and injuries and health issues. So for me to finally make it one and to stand on the top of the podium is something I am going to remember for the rest of my life. The reason I am in the sport and to have success and to execute on the big stage.

“Tomorrow is one year to the day since I had shoulder surgery which almost potentially ended my career so for me to be back and standing on top of the podium is very special. Everyone faces challenges in their swimming career and it’s about people who can rise above those challenges and continue to find ways to win.”

Similar to David Popovici, Chalmers was also dismissive of the idea of a rivalry between them.

“I don’t think it’s a rivalry between David (Popovici) and me. There are 80 other guys who competed in that race and each of them deserves the same respect that David and I get. David and I are going to have some great battles over the years but I know there are 10-15 other guys that could do something amazing when we get to Paris. I will chat to David when I have a chance to about the races that we will have ahead.”

Adam Peaty Looking Forward to Paris After Bronze in the 100 Breast 

Adam Peaty had a tough summer in long course: an ankle injury forced him to withdraw from Long Course Worlds, then at the Commonwealth Games, he missed the podium in the 100 breast for the first time in over a decade. SC Worlds is his first competition since then, and now he’s got himself back on the podium with bronze in the 100 breast (56.25) behind Nic Fink (55.88) and Nicolo Martinenghi (56.07).

While he joked after the race, saying “I don’t get bronze that often, so that will be a weird one for Wikipedia,” he did also talk about his return to competition and finding ways to enjoy the sport again.

“I am disappointed, but I not going to allow myself to be,” said Peaty. “I have been putting in a lot of hard work but they just out-skilled me tonight. It is what it is; I am what I am.

“I am looking forward to a long course season after this week. I am looking forward to a challenge and this is the high that I need. I feel pure anger which is very dangerous. I am loving it. I have come back from hell really. I had a lot of personal things that I had to take care of.

“If you don’t give 110% to this sport it will take 110% out of you and you will lose. I had to make some very tough personal choices. I need to make sure that the next 18 months. It has to start with the foundation of enjoyment. You can’t do anything without the enjoyment. I am looking forward to the Paris cycle; being back and swimming in front of these crowds. This is why I danced a little bit.”

Nic Fink won gold in the 50 and 200 breast last year in Abu Dhabi, and he was able to claim the 100-meter title that had eluded him 12 months ago on Thursday.

“This is a good one to start the meet with and I am looking forward to defending the other two (breaststroke) events as well,” he said. After earning World Cup Triple Crowns in the 50/100/200 breaststroke, Fink is certainly the favorite for the other breaststroke races.

“Winning this gives me a lot of confidence and I am ready to rock and roll. We have relays as well. It’s going to be a fun rest of the week.”

“It’s not my best race,” said silver medalist Nicolo Martinenghi. “It felt a bit tough. Yesterday I was more confident in the water, but it’s OK, it’s silver like last year. I’m really happy. There are worse things than a medal, so I cannot be unhappy with this result. Maybe a was a bit slow in the first fifty, but to come back faster was my goal.”

Dakota Luther Wasn’t Nervous Before Her First SC Worlds Final

The American duo of Dakota Luther and Hali Flickinger established themselves as the leaders early in the women’s 200 butterfly final. Neck-and-next at the 150-meter mark, Luther edged out ahead of Flickinger, a veteran on the international scene, to make her first World Championships medal a gold one.

Luther posted 2:03.37 for the win, with Flickinger and Elizabeth Dekkers just behind in 2:03.78 and 2:03.94. Despite it being their first major international competition, Luther said that she “wasn’t nervous, [she] was talking and laughing in the ready room. It feels great, this is my first international competition. I am really happy.”

For her part, Flickinger was also pleased with her silver medal performance.

“I’m happy with that,” said Flickinger. “I’m just trying to enjoy the sport again as I’m going through some stuff mentally. So I’m just really happy to be finding the fun again.

“It’s so fun (racing with teammate Dakota). We’re both actually from the same college. We both went to the University of Georgia in the US, so it’s really cool. And really cool for her to win gold in her first Short Course World Championships. It’s so exciting for her.”

Emma McKeon On the Pressure of a Home Crowd

“That was way too close,” said women’s 100 freestyle gold medalist Emma McKeon. McKeon backed up her blistering 49.96 100 freestyle relay split (the fastest of all-time) with a championship record of 50.77.

“It was a tight finish but what counts is getting your hand on the wall first, that’s everything.

“I haven’t swam a short course championship for a while. My family is in the stands tonight including both of my grandparents who don’t get to see that many of my meets, I think it’s the first time since the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
I wanted to win for them as well. My grandparents, my parents and my brother have been my biggest supporters. I could always hear them.

“I actually feel like this is the first time that I have felt a little pressure, but maybe that’s because so many came to watch. It’s a different kind of pressure, but one that I have enjoyed.”

Last year’s gold medalist, Siobhan Haughey, earned silver, just a tenth behind McKeon.

“It felt pretty good. Faster than my winning time from last year, so I’m happy with that,” said Haughey. : Obviously I would love a best time, but it’s only 0.08 off my personal best, so now I’m pretty hopeful about the 200 freestyle.”

Her race plan was a simple one: “To feel strong in the first 50m, but not go too fast. So I think I executed that.”

With the 100 freestyle finished, Haughey’s now shifting her attention to the 200 free, where she’s the defending champion and world record holder.

“My main target for the meet is the 200 freestyle, so that’s my focus now. It’s my favorite event and always my best event. So I’m excited for that.”

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Argentina on top 🇦🇷
1 year ago

The field is weak in the butterfly events.
Caeleb Dressel, Tomoru Honda, Leon Marchand and Luca Urlando would’ve smashed him easily in the 100 and 200 fly.

Moreover, he can’t compete in long course with the big dogs. In Fukuoka, Paris and beyond he will be sinking that last 50 and then he will start making excuses like he always does. 🤣🤣🤣

Last edited 1 year ago by Argentina on top 🇦🇷
Daddy Chill
Reply to  Argentina on top 🇦🇷
1 year ago

i think you missed somene in that list

1 year ago

Good job Le Clos

1 year ago

Great to see Chad swim a best time. Didn’t know if we’d ever see that again. A legendary racer.

Reply to  M L
1 year ago

Hairy armpits and chest? Watch out!

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

Read More »