Le Clos returns home with a proud chestful of medals

2014-08-01 00:00

CHAD le Clos arrived at King Shaka International airport yesterday — two years to the day after he shocked Michael Phelps at the London Olympics.

But this time the reasons for Durban’s sweetheart celebrating were different after Le Clos became the most decorated athlete at a single Commonwealth Games, winning seven medals in Glasgow.

“I made history not only for myself but for South Africa,” said the 22-year-old. He said that before leaving to compete in Glasgow he wasn’t as confident as he might have been.

“I did lose about four kilograms after being unwell but I am okay. My coach, doctor and physiotherapist got me into shape,” he said.

Le Clos had nine family members fly in to Glasgow to support him.

“After I won a race, I handed my mom my gold medal so that was pretty cool for me,” said Le Clos.

He said his dream was to make swimming a mainstream sport in the country and said he was glad that the Princess Charlene Foundation had been revamping swimming facilities.

“Our South African relay team came 0,8 seconds behind Australia who have state-of-the-art equipment to train with so we have the ability to be the best and have proven it.”

Another returning athlete was 15-year-old Erin Gallagher who had made it to the finals of two relay events.

“I feel age is just a number when it comes to swimming, I just wanted to give solid performances,” she said.

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