SA’s new wunderkind

2010-10-10 16:02

There are a few things one expects to hear from the mouth of a Commonwealth Games champion.

The words: “I don’t know how I passed that Science test the other day,” isn’t one of them.

Meet Chad Guy Detrand le Clos. Two-time Commonwealth Games champion, new wunderkind of South African swimming and according to all predictions, a future world champion.

But with the waves of the Commonwealth games still for now, the 18-year-old Durbanite is taking on a more regular title: matric pupil.

Le Clos made himself known in the land of his birth with a bang this week, when he won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.

After his success in the 200m butterfly on Monday a few of his compatriots asked: “Chad who?”

By the time he won the 400m individual medley on Wednesday by more than two seconds, his name was familiar to South Africans and swimming commentators.

But while his country can bask in the glory of the success of the teenage star, it’s back to reality for Le Clos.

He starts writing his matric exams in two weeks – just one more milestone he will reach in an already huge 2010.

“I considered doing my matric over two years, because this was such a big year in the pool, with the Youth Olympics, Mare Nostrum and the Commonwealth Games, but in the end I decided to take the bull by the horns and finish school this year.

“It was hard, but luckily my schoolwork didn’t really suffer. “I’m just not sure how I passed my Science test the other day,” says the Westville High pupil.

Le Clos is the third of four children and describes his family as very close. It was a big week for the Le Clos family. On the day he had his first Commonwealth Games success, his older brother became a father for the first time.

Le Clos can’t wait to meet the new addition to the family.

The unusual surname, he explains, is due to his French heritage. His dad grew up in Mauritius and speaks French fluently.

But not everything is going smoothly for the 18-year-old.

His mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoes chemotherapy twice a week.

“It’s always in the back of your mind,” he says, “but she’s doing much better.”

In addition to his success in New Delhi, Le Clos stood out at the Junior Olympics in Singapore, where he won one gold and three silver medals. He wasn’t very happy about that.

“It was actually quite disappointing that I didn’t win more gold medals, but making up for it at the biggest event of my year totally compensates.”

The future looks bright for the new star.

It isn’t the way he reacts to his glory that convinces one. It’s his reaction to the disappointing result in Friday’s 200m individual medley, where he came fifth.

“It wasn’t good enough,” he said. “That’s all. No excuses.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.