'Fly guy' Le Clos underway with crazy Rio schedule

Rio de Janeiro - Chad le Clos has kicked off a crazy Olympic schedule that, if everything goes according to plan, will see him swim in five events at the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

In his first involvement at the Olympic Aquatics Centre on Sunday, the London 2012 200m butterfly gold medalist cruised through to the semi-finals in the 200m freestyle. 

He will look to book his place in the final on Sunday night, although that race will only take place after 03:11 (SA time) on Monday. 

Le Clos finished second in his heat behind China's Sung Yang, but his time of 1:45:89 was a personal best as he finished third-fastest of all the semi-finalists. 

Freestyle is obviously not Le Clos's strongest suit, with Tuesday's 200m butterfly final - and another battle with Michael Phelps - being billed as one of the highlights of the Games.

And while defending that title is surely the priority for Le Clos this week, his net has been cast far wider in Rio than it was in London. 

"I'm very happy with that. It was my best time so I can't complain. I've got to get through to the final so I just need to keep focused and not get carried away," he said.

"It was good, but it wasn't great. A lot of improvements need to be made if I want a medal. To win will be very difficult.

"As it goes along we'll hopefully get faster through the rounds and if we can get a medal in this race ... I'm not a natural freestyler so it wouldn't be bad for a 'fly guy."

Le Clos is also swimming the 100m butterfly, the 4x200m freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley relay this week - bringing his total number of events to five. 

It makes for a demanding schedule, but he is adamant that he can manage the workload. 

"I don't see myself dropping out (of any races) ... but anything can happen," he said.

In 2012 Le Clos had made the final of the 200m Individual Medley, but decided to drop out to instead focus on the 100m butterfly where he won silver.

"We'll take it race by race. The 200m fly is coming up tomorrow (heats on Monday) and that's also a huge one for me."

It sure is.

"I'm excited. I've been excited for a long time," Le Clos said when asked about renewing his rivalry with Phelps. 

For now, though, the focus remains on the 200m freestyle.

"I'm sure I can go faster," Le Clos added.

"I just want to race, I don't care about the time. I'd love to win a medal in this race ... it's a very difficult race.

"Who knows ... put me at the 150m mark with everyone else and we'll see what we can do."

Myles Brown, meanwhile, also qualified for the semi-finals by finishing fifth in his heat and 13th overall.

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

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