Mzansi's hopes of first medal rest firmly on Le Clos

Ace swimmer begins quest for fifth Olympic gong

26 July 2021 - 07:49
By Charles Baloyi
 Chad Le Clos is aiming big.
Image: Streeter Lecka Chad Le Clos is aiming big.

Swimming sensation Chad le Clos will carry the hopes of SA on his shoulders in Tokyo, Japan.

Fresh from flying the national flag at the opening ceremony on Friday, Le Clos will begin his mission to add to his four Olympic medals when he competes in the men's 200m butterfly heat five tomorrow (12.30pm SA time).

When he enters the Olympic Aquatics Centre in Tokyo tomorrow, the 29-year-old knows that he is under pressure to deliver a medal for his country.

While he is competing for his fifth Olympic medal, his girlfriend Jeanni Mulder is in line to be crowned as Miss SA. The top 10 announcement will happen soon, and Le Clos is hoping that she will make it.

β€œI am proud of her. She has a great chance to make the top 10. If I were to bet, I would put my house on it. She is excited about the opportunity. I hope to win a medal and [that] she wins miss SA's crown,” said Le Clos.

Le Clos is going into his third Olympics as the favourite to win his event. Le Clos won gold and silver medals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.

He will compete again in the men's 100m butterfly heat six on Thursday at 12.54pm SA time.

He said being a flag-bearer for Team SA is the proudest moment of his swimming career. β€œIt was the first time for me being a flag-bearer during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a huge honour for me. I do not want to act as if it is a big deal for me.

"To represent your country at this level on the big stage is massive. Hopefully, the results can come in the pool to go with the honour of being the flag bearer for the first time in my career,” said Le Clos.