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Le Clos in 2013
|Full name||Chad Guy Bertrand le Clos|
|National team||South Africa|
12 April 1992 |
Durban, South Africa
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||77 kg (170 lb)|
|Strokes||Butterfly, freestyle, individual medley|
|Club||Seagulls Swimming Club|
Chad Guy Bertrand le Clos OIS, (born 12 April 1992) is a South African competitive swimmer who is an Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion as well as the Commonwealth record holder in the 50 and 100-metre butterfly. He won gold in the 200-metre butterfly and silver in the 100-metre butterfly in the 2012 Olympics in London, as well as silver medals in the 200-metre freestyle and 100-metre butterfly in the 2016 Summer Olympics. He also won five medals at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore. Le Clos has won the Overall Swimming World Cup three times: 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Le Clos was born to a Mauritian father of French descent and a South African mother. He attended Westville Boys' High School in Durban, South Africa, matriculating in 2010. He has been swimming from a very young age, and when he started competing at the age of 8 he already had a few years of training under his belt.
He was conferred the silver Order of Ikhamanga on 27 April 2013. In a statement by the Chairperson of the National Orders Advisory Council, Dr. Cassius Lubisi, le Clos was conferred the honour "For his excellent achievements on the international swimming stage, especially at the London Olympics in 2012, thus placing South Africa in high standing globally in the field of Aquatic sports."
He was also announced as the KZN Newsmaker of the Year 2013 at the Durban City Hall on 9 October 2013. The event was hosted by the Durban University of Technology, the City of Durban, and the DUT Journalism Advisory Board. Radio personality Alan Khan was the programme director. Le Clos was not present to receive his award as he was swimming in Moscow. His father, Bert le Clos, received the honour on le Clos' behalf.
Le Clos won the Daily News SPAR Sports Person of the Year in 2010 in which the top school sportsmen were nominated.
At the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, Le Clos collected 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. He won the titles in the 200-metre butterfly and the 400-metre individual medley, breaking the Games record in both events.
At the World Short Course Championships in Dubai, Le Clos won the gold medal in the 200-metre butterfly. He narrowly beat Brazilian Kaio de Almeida by 0.05 of a second and Hungarian László Cseh, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, by 0.11 of a second.
On the first day of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London Le Clos finished fifth in the 400m individual medley. On the 4th day, Le Clos won the gold medal in the 200m butterfly in 1min 52.96 sec, edging out the two-time defending Olympic champion and world record holder, Michael Phelps, by 0.05 seconds. Le Clos had stated before the games, in personal information given to the media, that his sporting hero is Michael Phelps. He later said that beating his hero was totally unexpected. The next day Le Clos qualified for the final of the 200m individual medley by swimming the (tied) 7th time in the semi-finals, but he withdrew to focus on the 100m butterfly. On the 7th day of the competition, Le Clos won the silver medal in the 100m butterfly, tied with Yevgeny Korotyshkin in a time of 51.44 sec, at 0.23 sec behind Phelps.
In the course of the 2012 Games, Le Clos' father, Bert le Clos, became an instant media personality as a result of being interviewed on British television about his son's achievement of winning a gold medal.
After his Olympic success, Le Clos came into the World Championships as a threat. This year, however, Le Clos shortened his program, deciding to only take part in the butterfly events. In his first event, the 50-metre butterfly, Le Clos came 23rd with a time of 23.76, unable to advance to the semi-finals. In his signature event, the 200-metre butterfly, after easily breezing into the final he followed his win from the Olympics, where he won with a 1:54.32. He finished off his schedule by winning the 100-metre fly with a new national record of 51.06, ending the championships on a good note.
Le Clos had one of his best years ever in 2014, including winning 4 golds at a well attended World Short Course Swimming Championships, winning the 50 butterfly, 100 butterly, 200 butterly, and 200 freestyle. He was named the FINA Swimmer of the Year.
Le Clos finished 14th in the semifinals of the 50 meter butterfly, and 6th in the 200m freestyle. He finished second in the 200m butterfly, at 0.2 seconds behind László Cseh. He successfully defended his 2013 title in the 100m butterfly by winning the gold medal in a personal best time of 50.56. Le Clos and Michael Phelps, who was swimming at the US national championships at the same time and posted slightly faster times in the 100 and 200m butterfly events, exchanged comments about each other's times, which set up a rivalry for the 2016 Olympics.
Le Clos won the silver medal in the 200 metre freestyle event, finishing behind China's Sun Yang in a time of 1:45.20 to become one of South Africa's most decorated Olympians. The medal itself was quite a surprise for many, as Le Clos, primarily known as a butterfly specialist, had to overcome placement in one of the outside lanes and the presence of far more established freestylers in the field, such as the world record holder Paul Biedermann, reigning world champion James Guy, and the eventual bronze medalist Conor Dwyer.
Le Clos finished 4th in the 200 metre butterfly in which he was the defending champion, in a race he called the worst of his career. The event was heavily hyped as a rematch between Le Clos and Michael Phelps, the 2004 and 2008 winner whom Le Clos had narrowly beaten in 2012. The relationship between Le Clos and Phelps had been cordial in 2012–2013 but it deteriorated in 2014 when Phelps came back from retirement. In the ready room prior to the preliminary race, Le Clos' shadow boxing while Phelps "glowered in a corner" spawned the Internet meme with the hashtag #PhelpsFace. Le Clos' Wikipedia biography was even vandalized repeatedly.
Le Clos won a second silver medal in the 100 meter butterfly, in a three-way tie with rivals Phelps and László Cseh, behind Joseph Schooling. He said in the aftermath of the event to have been very disappointed with his overall showing in Rio, but already having firm plans on continuing until the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Despite not being satisfied with his Rio showing, he still became South Africa's most decorated Olympian ever with four medals – one gold, three silver.
He took yet another major title in the 200 metre butterfly, beating out rival and home country favorite Laszlo Cseh, at the 2017 World Acquatic Swimming Championships.
|Meet||100 free||200 free||50 fly||100 fly||200 fly||200 IM||400 IM||4×50 free||4×100 free||4×200 free||4×50 medley||4×100 medley|
|100 m freestyle||48.16||Moscow||11 August 2015|
|200 m freestyle||1:45.20||Rio de Janeiro||8 August 2016||AF, NR|
|50 m butterfly||23.29||Glasgow||24 July 2014|
|100 m butterfly||50.56||Kazan||8 August 2015||AF, NR|
|200 m butterfly||1:52.96||London||31 July 2012||AF, NR|
|200 m IM||1:57.94||Johannesburg||7 April 2014|
|400 m IM||4:12.24||London||28 July 2012|
|50 m freestyle||21.05||Moscow||4 September 2016|||
|100 m freestyle||45.78||Berlin||6 August 2017|||
|200 m freestyle||1:41.45||Doha||3 December 2014|
|50 m butterfly||21.95||Doha||6 December 2014|
|100 m butterfly||48.08||Windsor||8 December 2016||WR|
|200 m butterfly||1:48.56||Singapore||5 November 2013||WR|
|200 m IM||1:51:56||Dubai||1 September 2014|
|400 m IM||3:59.23||Tokyo||9 November 2013|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chad le Clos.|
|Men's 100-metre butterfly
world record-holder (short course)
4 December 2014 – present
Kaio de Almeida
|Men's 200-metre butterfly
world record-holder (short course)
7 August 2013 – present
|Male World Cup Overall Winner
Cameron van der Burgh
Cameron van der Burgh
|African Swimmer of the Year
2012 – 2016
|FINA Swimmer of the Year