Chad joins exclusive club

By admin
31 July 2014

Chad le Clos (22) walks away from the Commonwealth Games with four individual medals and three relay team medals.

Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos returned from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on Thursday as the joint most-decorated South African swimmer at the multi-sport event.

"I don't want to sound arrogant but coming into this meet I was hoping for nine medals and overtaking the all-time list," Le Clos said after receiving a hero's welcome.

"It has been an amazing week-and-a-half, being an emotional journey for me equalling Ian Thorpe's record at a single Games," he said referring to the Australian swimming legend.

"I am proud of the team -- Cameron van der Burgh, Roland Schoeman -- and the guys who stepped up in the relays."

People waiting at the arrival hall at OR Tambo International Airport cheered as the swimming team members made their appearance.

Le Clos bowed out of the Games with four individual medals and three as part of the relay teams.

The swimming sensation won two gold medals in the 100m and 200m butterfly, bronze in the 50m butterfly and 200m individual medley (IM), silver in the 4x100m relay, bronze in the 4x200m relay, and bronze in the 4x100m medley relay.

The 22-year-old has now won 12 medals stretching over two Games, which include the five medals from Delhi four years ago.

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Le Clos won the 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley, and collected silver in the 4x100m medley and two bronze medals in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle.

Le Clos' effort equals that of South African swimming legend Roland Schoeman, who won his 12 medals in his five Games appearances since the 1998 edition in Kuala Lumpur.

The 34-year-old Schoeman drew the curtain on his last Games with the 50m butterfly silver medal and a silver from the 4x100m freestyle relay.

"Roland is a legend, it has been five Games now which is an amazing feat and still winning medals at age 34 is amazing stuff," Le Clos said.

"To be joint with Roland on medals is awesome and hopefully at the next Games in the Gold Coast in Australia, hopefully I can overtake that tally and push it close to 20."

World record holder Cameron van der Burgh confirmed his status as one of the country's swimming greats with his three medals from the Games.

Van der Burgh relinquished his 100m breaststroke crown to England's Adam Peaty on Saturday to finish in second place, but bounced back by defending his 50m breaststroke title in a new Games record.

Sebastien Rousseau also came out as a multiple medal winner with his two individual medals, bronze in the 200m butterfly and 400m IM.

He featured in the silver-medal winning 4x200m relay freestyle team and Tuesday's 4x100m medley relay team.

 Ockert de Villiers

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