Budapest - South
Africa's Chad le Clos is bracing himself to race in Budapest's 'lions den'
atmosphere against home-town favourite Laszlo Cseh in the 200m butterfly at the
world aquatic championships.
Every time a Hungarian swims at Budapest's Duna Arena, the
home crowd roar their deafening support.
Le Clos expects a battle royal as he tries to wrestle the
world gold medal off Cseh.
With Hungary's Tamas Kenderesi also through to Tuesday
night's semi-finals, it will be extremely loud if both Hungarians reach
"It's going to be tough, I said a few months ago it'll
be like a lion's den here, but I'm a fighter - I don't like to lose," said
"I'm not afraid of anybody, I wish him all the best.
"Laszlo and Kenderesi are both good friends, they are
the favourites. I'm probably only fourth as it stands."
Cseh won the world title in Kazan two years ago with Le Clos
having to settle for silver.
With US swim superstar Michael Phelps now back in
retirement, the South African wants the gold in Budapest.
Cseh was the fastest qualifier into the semis at 1:54.08
mins with Japan's Daiya Seto, the 400m medley world champion in 2013 and 2015,
Le Clos, the 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champion, was fifth
fastest at 1.82secs back, but said it was all part of the plan.
"I knew Laszlo was going to be quick, he likes to go
home fast in the morning," said Le Clos.
"I love all the heats, you know me I like to play
"It's ok. We'll shave a bit (of time off) tonight and
get ready for tomorrow (Wednesday)."
Le Clos also explained why he was a no-show for the men's
200m freestyle heats on Monday, the event in which he won a silver medal at the
"We decided about three weeks ago not to swim, I did a
time trial about 10 days ago and I was about 1.47.0," said Le Clos.
"I realised I'm probably not in the right shape to go
"I don't think to be honest that's going to be good
enough for me this time around, so we'll see.
"But definitely in the Commonwealth Games next year,
and definitely in 2020 (the Tokyo Olympics), I'm back."