South African Chad Le Clos Eyes Commonwealth Games History

South African Olympian Chad Le Clos is on the hunt for his 3rd consecutive 200m butterfly title at this year’s Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia. Even without key rival Joseph Schooling of Singapore among the field, Le Clos still has a fire in his belly for gold – 7 times over.

“The Commonwealth [Games] are very important to me. I am seven medals (away) from the all-time record,” the 25-year-old silver medalist form Rio stated. “If I can get seven medals I will become the most decorated of all time at the Commonwealth Games.” Currently, English shooter Mick Gault and Australian shooter Philip Adams both check-in with 18 Commonwealth Games medals apiece, while Le Clos owns 12 medals from the 2010 and 2014 Games.

Of the prospect of setting himself apart from all other Commonwealth Games competitors, Le Clos says, “It’s nice to get the chance to create a little bit of history along the way, so one day in 20, 30, 40 years’ time, when I have grandkids, I might be able to say, ‘Granddad holds the records for the most amount of medals won and did the treble in the fly’.”

Le Clos is coming off of an enormously successful World Cup run, where the Energy Standard swimmer was named FINA World Cup Champion, an honor he has achieved 4 times throughout his elite career. That helped eased the sting of coming away medal-less in Rio in his pet 200m fly event, although Le Clos did race to silver in the 200m freestyle and was part of a 3-way tie for silver in the 100m butterfly.

“2016 was a difficult year,” Le Clos admits. “I won’t shy away from the mistakes I made but I said I would be back and that I wanted to win the 200m fly at the world championships.”

Le Clos did just that, topping the podium in the men’s 200m butterfly in Budapest last year to become world champion once again. “That was a huge moment in my life, not just in my career. I did it for myself, I did it because I wanted to win. I got obsessed with winning and redeeming myself.”

With the Commonwealth Games now just 8 weeks away, Le Clos is getting his mind right to possibly make history. “It’s all about learning to find comfort under pressure, that is the key to success, learning to deal with all the outside pressures and converting them into a winning formula,” he says. “I think I have got that art down to a tee.”

“It’s probably going be the most difficult Games because the Aussies are extremely hard to beat at home,” said Le Clos. “But I have never really raced in front of a home crowd before so, for me, I am always on enemy soil.

“We (South Africans) are not afraid of things, which I think makes us difficult to beat. A lot of South Africans have that type of character. We are brought up that way, to be strong and bold and go for what we want, that type of attitude where we don’t settle for anything less.”

All quotes courtesy of

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I feel likes he’s overstating the importance of the CG games…by a lot. If schoolings out, his path to more medals becomes a lot easier. James Guy is all that’s left.

Captain Awesome

Ben Proud in the 50 is a pretty big obstacle too.

Honest observer

James Guy will likely not prevent le Clos from medaling, though he might change the color of one or two those medals. (Since the topic of this article is primarily about the overall number of medals, as opposed to their hue.)

Sum Ting Wong

He said the CW were important to him . Although its not ‘at home’ there will be a lot of SAfrican expats , as there will be English , Welsh & Scottish & Kiwis in the stands & around town . Its an open air facility & tho early autumn , there has been wild weather sometimes , it could be just a perfect meet . There only about 7 events where there are not World or Olympic medallists competing ..There are 5 Olympic individual Champs competing , one Olympi c champ team , 9 Olympic indiv medallists , 6 relay medal team medallists . For World champs I see 8 World indiv champs & 2 relay teams & plenty… Read more »

Scott Morgan

Agreed. Important meets span well beyond WC & Olympics. I see no reason to dismiss an athlete’s goals or downplay any major international meeting.

Scott Morgan

PVDH, I would say it seems obvious that the CG Games are important to HIM. And I’ve yet to hear it said that a major International Games in mid-quadrennial is unimportant. I think you may yourself be understating these games a touch, both the range of possible competitors/challengers Le Clos and others will face AND their importance.

Drama King

I see one or two Australians trying to get into the podiums at home. Normally they swim fast at home. Ervine and Morgan will be the top candidates .


He should focus more on World Championships and Olympic Games. Nobody will care how many gold medals u win in CG. Without Schooling, the competition for the fly is not there. I do hope Schooling will swim the 200 fly in 2019 worlds and 2020 olympics. Most probably he will swim in this year Asian Games. If he put in a lot of work for the 200 fly, le clos may find it difficult.


Schoolings pb in the 200 fly is a 1:55.7 and there are several younger 200 flyers already ahead of him. His time in that event is up. He has to focus solely on 100 fly if he wants a chance at even a bronze in Tokyo


Schooling was 1:56.6 when he was 16 and his PB 1:55.7 is from almost 3 years ago. hes never focused on it LCM so we dont know what he can do in it yet. I could see a 1:53 high if he swam it tapered. that should be in the running for a win at CW


You think a guy who hasn’t done the 200 fly in 3 years can just magically step back Into it like that? He doesn’t have the aerobic base to get back into the event. You can even see him start to get choppy finishing a 100 fly. He didn’t have the base to keep up with his 100 fly top time after a couple of months off, there’s no way he’d succeed in the 200 fly.


One could also argue, though, that getting fired up for CWG helps stay motivated in that mid-quad, two year drag between World Champs . It’s hard for many people to stay fully motivated when the next meet “worthy” of their focus is two years away. Focusing on CWG won’t hurt him in terms of World Champs or Olympics, so if this is what keeps him working hard this year, more power to him.

Scott Morgan

I totally agree. I’d say it is the ones who argue that CGs — or any multi-national competitive gathering of elite a-team squads — are unimportant or a waste of time that have some explaining to do. What else is a waste of time? Euros, PanPacs, PanAms?


Where a lot of the criticism comes from is the precedence that some swimmers place on CGs, not necessarily stating that they should or should not compete at them. For the Brits, Euros are held in the same year. When CG are held in the Northern Hemisphere summer and within reasonable date proximity to Euros then its practicable to target them in the same preparation. However, Euros SHOULD be seen as the peak priority quite simply due to the higher competition standard across the board. For CAN, it is already clear that PP will be the prioritized meet given their NCAA swimmers have been green-lighted to miss CG. For Le Clos, he is in the position of being one of… Read more »

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo

Nobody will care? You mean only swim swam people who think you need to get a gold medal at the Olympics and the fastest textile ever to be a good swimmer.

Drama King

If the race is on a practice pool, then Schooling might have a chance , otherwise it will be down to stomache….


Why not. Is depending whether he wants to do it. I am sure he can. Leading up to rio, he prepared himself a target board. 100 fly: 50.1, 200 fly: 1:52 so i feel he somehow can achieve near to this time. Not necessarily he will win but medal at this event isn’t too difficult for him.


After Milák or Kenderesi or Laci or…

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo

Brownish, give it up. Cash won’t ever beat Chad again


Cseh. And will 🙂


No chance schooling beats Le Clos in 200 fly. Schoolings best time is 1:55.7 and Le Clos is 1:52.96. Statistically speaking for schooling to beat Le Clos he would have to drop nearly 3 seconds in a 200 which simply will not happen. That’s simply being delusional.


Le Clos hasnt gone a best time since 2012… and hes only been under 1:54 a few times since. no telling if he will in 8 weeks. Schoolings best is from almost 3 years ago, back when his best short course was 1:39.6, hes dropped almost two seconds since then and didnt swim it last year. Im not saying he will swim it but if he did hes not out of the question for the win

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo

He’s gone 1:53.6 in 2015 and 1:53.3 last year. That’s close enough


I didn’t know that was Schooling’s PB; Puts him behind Guy and a couple of the likely Aussies on paper in the 200fl.


Of course I got downvotes for being completely reasonable in time prediction. I’m just saying it’s hard to drop three seconds in a 200 at that high of a level. What did Phelps magically drop from 1:53 to 1:51.5 in 3 years lol?


I 100% agreed with you; I don’t see 200 being Schoolings home anymore. He’d probably break 1.55; But breaking 1.54 would be unrealistic.

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo

Actually Phelps did lol.
2003: 1:53.93
2004: 1:54.04
2005: 1:54.6?
2006: 1:53.80
2007 : 1:52.09
2008 : 1:52.03 (blind)
2009: 1:51.51
Not saying Schooling will go 1:53 though. If he trained hard for it, maybe in 2020, but now he would be 1:55 probably.

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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