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Le Clos not happy as Phelps rivalry ends

2016-08-13 04:48
Cseh, Le Clos and Phelps share silver (Getty)

Rio de Janeiro - Chad le Clos leaves the Rio Olympics with two silver medals to his name - an achievement he is proud of but far from happy with. 

Le Clos finished Friday night's (Saturday morning, SA time) 100m butterfly in a crazy three-way tie for second with Hungary's Laszlo Cseh and American great Michael Phelps while Singapore's Joseph Schooling won gold.

Le Clos won silver in the 200m freestyle earlier in the week, but the big disappointment came when he missed out on a medal in the 200m butterfly while Phelps stole the show with a win.

"I can't pretend like I'm too happy; I'm not," said Le Clos after the race.

"It's the Olympic Games ... I have to have respect. I can't come here and say I'm terribly disappointed with two silvers because if you had asked me 10 years ago if I'd want to have three silvers and a gold at the Olympic Games, I would have taken it with both hands."

The race also brings Le Clos's rivalry with Phelps to an end. 

When asked if this was a fitting way for his battle with the greatest Olympian ever to conclude, Le Clos held on to the possibility of racing his idol one more time despite Phelps confirming that he will be calling it a day after the Olympics.

"I hope we can race again, I really do. I'm going to ask him nicely if he can stick around for another couple of months," said Le Clos.

"He's had a great week, an unbelievable week. We'll hopefully get to race again sometime ... he's the greatest of all time and we'll see what the future holds."

But Phelps confirmed one last time at Friday's post-match press conference that he would not be changing his mind.

"I'm ready to retire," he said. 

"Chad already asked me ... no way. I'm ready to spend some time with Boomer (son) and Nicole (partner)."

On the bizarre nature of the three-way tie, Le Clos was as shocked as anybody. 

"You could have given odds of a million to one ... I would never have guessed that would have happened," he said.

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

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