Le Clos Feels Phelps Return Would Be Great For The Sport

South African Olympic and World Champion Chad le Clos made an appearance at the winter Olympics in Sochi representing Omega. While in Russia he talked about the possibility of Michael Phelps returning to competition, “The rumor is obviously trickling down all the way to South Africa. Everyone is talking about it,” le Clos told SuperSport.

“It would be great for the sport if he comes back. It would be great for me. I do welcome the challenge from anybody. If you want to win a gold medal, you want to beat the best.”

“I gave him one of his very few silvers.”

In 2012 the South African was the first man to beat Michael Phelps in his signature event, the 200 butterfly, in a major international competition since the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships. Since that time le Clos has gone on to win the 100 and 200 butterfly at the World Championships, break the short course world record in the 200 butterfly and win the overall World Cup title.

Whether Phelps returns to the pool or not it looks like le Clos will be following his example. It was recently revealed that he will be seeking eight national titles at the South African National Championships in April and could be swimming up to seven individual events at the Commonwealth Games this summer in Glasgow.

“I want to try and just see how many I can handle,” said le Clos. “The Commonwealth Games will give me a good indication. I’m not the kind of guy that likes to swim races and come fourth or fifth. I want to be among the medals and I want to be competitive.”

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So Le Clos will swim 8 events: 50/100/200 fly, 200/400 IM, 100/200 free, and 200 back at RSA natiionals. It will be a tall order for him to win 7 titles (to equal RSA record), let alone 8. He will start as heavy favorite in 5 events: 100/200 fly, 200 IM, and as a slight favorite in 1 event: 200 free (Darian Townsend’s 200 free PB is only 0.05 seconds slower). In the other events, he is not the fastest south african. Schoeman is decidedly faster in 50 fly, Sebastian Rosseau swam 4:11.11 in 400 IM last year, faster than le Clos’ PB of 4:12.24, Gideon Louw is more than half second faster in 100 free, and Darren Murray’s 200… Read more »


But of course le Clos knows what it takes to do the impossible. He’s done it before in London.

On that note, I agree with Le Clos: Phelps returning will be great for the sport and the fans.


If he really wanted Phelps to come back he should say something like “I don’t think he should come back because he’s well past his prime and I will beat him hands down”. That might light the fire.

Le Clos is not stupid.A one(or two) trick pony Phelps would be a menace for him(Phelps swimming only two events).

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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