1 August 2012

South Africa wins another Olympic gold

South African swimmer, Chad le Clos, has claimed the gold medal in the 200 metre butterfly final at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Olympic gold medallist, Chad le Clos

I’ve watched his races a million times. The legacy he has left behind is fantastic. Hopefully one day I can try to do something similar and be a role model to kids as he was to me. - Chad le Clos, Olympic gold medalist.

Hot on the heels of Cameron van der Burgh’s win in the 100 metre breaststroke, South Africa’s Chad le Clos has claimed another gold medal for South Africa in the 200 metre butterfly final at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. He won in a time of 1 minute 52.96 seconds.

Le Clos beat his hero, Michael Phelps from the USA, who took the silver medal in a time of 1 minute 53.61 seconds. Takeshi Matsudi from Japan took the bronze in a time of 1:53.21.

He told reporters that Phelps has been a huge inspiration, and beating him at the Olympics is a dream come true: ‘I’ve watched his races a million times. The legacy he has left behind is fantastic. Hopefully one day I can try to do something similar and be a role model to kids as he was to me.’

Les Clos hails from the city of Durban and is just 20 years old. He started swimming at a very young age and to date has achieved 2 gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games (2010) and received a gold medal at the World Short Course Championships. He finished 5th in the 200 metre event at the 2011 World Aqautics Championship, but this Olympic win is no doubt his finest moment to date.

The young swimmer could not contain his emotion he stood on the podium to collect his medal, with the South African national anthem playing in the background.

Many news reports said that Burt le Clos, Chad’s father, stole the show with his unrehearsed emotional outbursts on BBC. ‘Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable,’ he told a bemused reporter. ‘It’s like I just died and went to heaven.’

Many South Africans sent congratulatory messages to Le Clos and his family via social media platforms.

Local tweeter, Nathan Adams (@NathanAdams1), wrote: 'Dear Mr Phelps. When u watch the replay & wonder where Mr Le Clos "found" that extra .94 sec, it was the ROAR of an entire nation! #TeamSA'