History-maker Le Clos on 'bittersweet' silver Commonwealth medal: 'It crushes me a little'

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South African superstar Chad le Clos made history on Sunday but admits to feeling bittersweet after narrowly missing out on the gold medal in the men's 200m butterfly at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Le Clos was primed to defend his title for the fourth consecutive Games but had to settle for silver as New Zealander Lewis Clareburt took gold.

Swimming in lane four, Le Clos was ahead for most of the race but slipped somewhat behind in the final 25m as the South African touched the wall in 1:55.89.

Le Clos' silver medal saw him tie for the most medals won by an athlete in Commonwealth Games history as he clinched his 18th medal in his fourth Games.

"It feels bittersweet, I'm proud to have the most medals in Commonwealth Games history. I can't exactly complain, I would've taken for sure a medal or two a couple of months [ago]" Le Clos said after his race.

"But I'm pretty sad to not get the gold, I felt like I was destined to win tonight, I felt good.

"I felt nervous throughout the day, but before the race, I was feeling pretty confident. I thought it was in the bag, after the 100, I felt really good, but I guess the piano dropped on my back with 25m to go."

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Le Clos now joins retired shooters Brit Michael Gault and Australian Phil Adams on 18 medals and needs one more to become the most decorated Commonwealth Games athlete of all time.

"I'm proud, it's tough for me to say that because I thought I was going to win tonight. If you asked me 12 years ago, I'll be where I am now, I'd be smiling," said Le Clos.

"But competitively, you can't shake off the fact that I didn't win tonight. It crushes me a little that I missed it by that much, I thought I had it."

On Monday, Le Clos turns his attention to the men's 100m butterfly heats, in what is likely his final event in Birmingham (12:24 SA time).

Le Clos, who withdrew due to breathing problems at last month's FINA World Championships, is determined to taste gold once again as the 30-year-old continues to prove that he has what it takes to star on the international stage.

"I promised myself that I want to be on top of the podium again, whether it be the 100m fly or in World Champs next year. I want to get back on that podium," said Le Clos.

"There's nothing I could've done more mentally, I just shut down the last 25m or so, but there are no excuses, I gave it my all and unfortunately, I came a little bit short, but we go again in the 100m tomorrow."

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