Chad le Clos Channeling Fire and ‘Educating the Youth’ on Rekindled Closing Speed

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Chad le Clos was upset when he lost the 200 butterfly at the 2022 FINA World Cup stop in Toronto.

He was not going to make the same racing mistake in Indianapolis.

The South African star trailed American Trenton Julian after 150 meters, but surged ahead to get his hand on the wall first.

It is something special about le Clos. While some people are using the World Cup as a tuneup, he is here to race and he wants to win – every single time.

“That fire has always been there, I am just trying to channel it in the right way. I really swam emotional because of circumstances. I was too tense. I was desperate to win. But I have swim with finesse and control. You want to swim with emotion, but controlled emotion. This is how I like to win … dog-fights. I like the fight in a race,” Chad le Clos said. “I just wanted to get that one back (after Julian won in Toronto). Being next to someone like that makes it a bit of a scrap.”

At age 30, scrapping is what motivates him on a daily basis, especially with the younger wave of talent coming in, like in this World Cup — where le Clos finished third in the overall standings.

“I have my mindset back. I am in control of the way I am swimming. I have to remind people that I finish hard … and educate the youth – respectfully of course,” le Clos said. “I am delighted with the win.”

He won the race in 1:49.89, ahead of Julian (1:50.08) thanks to a closing 28.30, nearly a second faster than Julian.

“You have to really scrap to make the finals with this field. It is teaching me at 30 years old to take the mornings out a little harder,” he said. “It was really hard in the morning. I was nervous because I saw the heats go so fast. But it was an educational day for me because I had to work the morning hard.”

That will be a key for him at the 2022 Short Course World Championships in Melbourne later this year.

“I will be in the best shape and the best form (at worlds). It is really good to be put in those circumstances before the world championships,” Chad le Clos said.”I am still three seconds behind Honda, but I look forward to the scrap at the end of the year, whoever is there. I come to race.”

FINA World Cup Men’s Final Top 10

1 Dylan Carter, Trinidad and Tobago, 172.6
2 Nic Fink, USA, 172.3
3 Chad le Clos, South Africa, 166.3
4 Shaine Casas, USA, 164.9
5 Matthew Sates, South Africa, 154.1
6 Kyle Chalmers, Australia, 152.1
7 Thomas Ceccon, Italy, 144.8
8 Danas Rapsys, Lithuania, 137.1
9 Kiran Smith, USA, 134.1
10 Javier Acevedo, Canada, 133.9

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