Looking To Budapest, Le Clos Considers Himself The ‘Underdog’


Olympian Chad Le Clos has been coming on strong in Durban, collecting his 3rd World Championships-qualifying mark of the South African National Championships meet. On night one, the 24-year-old fired off a lead-off split of 48.64 on his Western Cape Aquatics’ 4 x 100m freestyle relay, the fastest Le Clos has ever clocked in the Kings Park pool. Although the relay was eventually disqualified, Le Clos’ time falls under the 48.93 qualifying benchmark for Budapest, as well as checks-in as the 5th fastest time in the world this season.

Le Clos followed that performance up with more fireworks in the 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly events, where he won a gold medal in each. His freestyle time of 1:46.84 ranks as #2 in the world, as does his impressive outing of 1:55.00 achieved in the 200m butterfly. Having undergone significant changes in 2017, including moving to Cape Town and taking on a new coaching staff that includes Andrea di Nino and Bobby Hurley, Le Clos appears to have everything on track for the new quadrennial.

Post-racing tonight, Le Clos told SwimSwam that he’s ‘very happy’ with tonight’s 200m butterfly, as well as his earlier races. “This year has been a huge change for me, but so far everything has been on point. I’ve been very happy with Andrea and Bobby and the way we’ve been working together.”

Unshaven and unrested, Le Clos says he considers these South African National Championships as a mid-season meet, a stepping stone on his journey to this summer’s World Championships. Le Clos says he is coming into Budapest as “an underdog in all of my events, especially the 200m butterfly.” With Worlds taking place in Hungary, home swimmers Laszlo Cseh and Tamas Kenderesi will both prove to be a challenge in that particular event, says Le Clos, as well Japanese Olympic silver medalist in the event, Masato Sakai.

But, the South African says his “main focus is to just do my best,” which is never a bad strategy.

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1:55.00 un rested and unshaved? Doesn’t that seem to be really fast time if that’s the case?


Yeah I’d say a 1:52 high or a 1:53 rested and shaved


Don’t forget Laszlo Cseh was reportedly “untapered” when he swam that 1:52.9 early last year… we all know how that turned out in Rio.

Considering Le Clos enjoys speaking in hyperbole, let’s all wait until Budapest to see what he can do.

E Gamble

No Michael Phelps and now Le Clos wants to be the underdog. ? Does anyone remember Le Clos staring down anyone else besides Michael Phelps? No. Sorry Mr Le Clos… the world expects a win in the 200 fly without Michael Phelps. Nice try tho. That Rio ego alone makes you the favorite.

Attila the Runt

It’s Mr. Conger’s time.


Hope so.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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