South Africa

Le Clos on track for Rio

2014-11-06 12:56
Chad le Clos (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The trail of tattered records Chad le Clos leaves behind is all part of the swimmer's grand plan for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The Olympic gold medallist completed another successful Fina Swimming World Cup series where he became the first man to be crowned overall male swimmer for the third time.

Coach Graham Hill described Le Clos' achievement in the seven-meet series as a "really big effort", surpassing compatriots Ryk Neethling and Cameron van der Burgh, who had each won two series titles in the past.

"We planned how to attack the world cups and it all points towards Rio," Hill said.

"Everything we are doing is in the plan for what we want to achieve there. We are well on track and everything is looking great."

Le Clos bagged an impressive total of 27 gold medals and was the first swimmer to go unbeaten throughout a series. He showed his skillfulness with victories coming from his specialist butterfly and individual medley events while he also won gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

During the series, the Durban-based swimmer also came painstaking close to breaking the world records in the 50m, 100m and the 200m butterfly events, demonstrating his unrivalled form.

Hill said the versatility in his star swimmer's repertoire was all part of a goal for multiple medal success in Rio de Janeiro.

"There is a plan in place to swim these World Cups and to do the necessary things we had to do. We were chopping and changing events and we didn't do the 200m fly until the end of the series," he said.

"We swam some freestyle events at the beginning where he did really well. Chad is one of the fastest 50m and 100m freestyle swimmers at the moment, not to be outdone by the sprinters."

Le Clos' long-time coach was full of praise for the swimmer who had bought into his planning and training methods.

"I've been coaching Chad for 14 years - more than half his life he's been with me - and we know each other well enough to know what has to be done.

"We are really working well together. He's really matured as an athlete like you can't believe. When you are dealing with an athlete like that, with the focus he has, it is a win-win situation as we have the same drive to perform in Rio."

Looking towards the Fina World Short Course Championships in Doha in December, Hill was confident of a strong South African showing.

"I think we can have a really good campaign there. We saw how the youngsters performed at the Commonwealth Games in the relay and I would like them to make the step-up on the world stage," he said.

"We will look to Chad to win individual medals along with Cameron and maybe there will be another one or two surprises. Myles Brown is in good form at the moment and Giulio Zorzi is always good in the 50m breaststroke.

"Then we have a group of young girls, between 15 and 16 year old who actually swam the qualifying times and who knows maybe one or two of them can make the step up."

Read more on:    chad le clos  |  swimming

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