GLASGOW, Scotland, July 23. CHAD Le Clos had set himself up for a monstrously difficult schedule at the Commonwealth Games, qualifying for seven individual events in the competition. But the South African has removed three events from the schedule, according to the start lists published today.
With the first day of racing set for tomorrow in the Scottish capital, Le Clos has removed the 400 IM, 200 back and 200 free from his program. He is still set for the potential of a gold medal sweep in the three butterfly events (50, 100 and 200), and he is a strong medal candidate in the 200 IM. Though names have not been released, Le Clos is likely to be a part of all three of South Africa’s relays (400 free, 400 medley, 800 free).
Le Clos won the 400 IM at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, one of two events he won at the meet along with the 200 fly. That was his international breakout meet and set him up for what would be one of the most-discussed races at the 2012 Olympics. He won the 200 fly in London over defending champion Michael Phelps, robbing The Greatest Of All Time of the distinction of winning that event at three consecutive Olympics. Le Clos also swam the 400 IM at the 2012 Olympics, finishing fifth.
Dropping the 200 free and 400 IM makes sense for Le Clos. Those two events will take place on the same day (July 25) and will also conflict with the final of the 50 butterfly and the 400 free relay. Had Le Clos kept the 200 free and 400 IM on his schedule, he would have potentially raced in four finals on that day.
As for the 200 backstroke, it falls on the same day as the 100 fly final. Le Clos had a slim chance of winning a medal there, with three Australians ahead of him in the world rankings.
South Africa will not be replacing Le Clos in either of the three events he scratched. Of those three events, the 400 IM still remains an event in which South Africa can win a medal. Sebastien Rousseau is looking to get his first Commonwealth medal with a strong swim in the longer medley.
Jazz Carlin did not swim the 200 free at either event that Wales used to select swimmers for the Commonwealth Games, and that event wasn’t listed as one of her races when Wales released the names of swimmers on the team. But she’s entered in the 200 free in Glasgow in hopes of defending or improving on the silver medal she won at the 2010 Commonwealths. Carlin is also entered in the 400 free and 800 free, two races in which she comes in as a strong gold medal favorite.
Adam Brown and Liam Tancock will also get to swim individual events despite not meeting the selection times for England’s team. When England released the names of swimmers on its squad, the events each athlete qualified for were not listed. But the entry lists revealed that Brown is set for the 50 free and 100 free, while Tancock is in line for defense of his 50 and 100 backstroke titles.