Chad le Clos Dealing With Knee Injury, Hoping to Return by ISL Final

chad le clos, international swimming league, ISL
Chad le Clos -- Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

Chad le Clos Dealing With Knee Injury, Hoping to Return by ISL Final

During the first couple meets of the International Swimming League (ISL) playoffs, Energy Standard has been missing one of its stars. South Africa’s Chad le Clos, the gold medalist in the men’s 200 butterfly at the 2012 Olympics and now a 29-year-old grizzled veteran, pulled out of the last two FINA World Cup meets in October with a knee injury that has continued to bother him. According to Energy Standard head coach Tom Rushton, le Clos’ injury prevents him from pushing off the wall and kicking hard.

Rushton said that there is no timetable for le Clos’ return to competition. Energy Standard will compete in its final playoff match next Thursday and Friday (November 25-26), and the team is a virtual lock to advance to the ISL final, scheduled for December 3-4. “We are taking it one step at a time with him,” Rushton said. The coach admitted that he hopes to have le Clos available for the final, but “we’ll see.”

Le Clos established himself as a full-on swimming star in 2012 when he touched out Michael Phelps by just five hundredths to prevent the legendary American from winning his unprecedented third straight gold medal in the event. Four years later, le Clos won Olympic silver medals in the 200 free and 100 fly (in a tie with Phelps and Laszlo Cseh) while he finished fourth in the 200 fly in a highly-anticipated rematch against Phelps. Le Clos has also won four long course world titles, two each in the 100 fly (2013 and 2015) and 200 fly (2013 and 2017). The South African has also won 10 titles at the Short Course World Championships.At the recent Tokyo Olympics, he carried the national flag for South Africa in the Opening Ceremony before he placed fifth in the 200 fly but failed to advance out of prelims in the 100 fly. So far this ISL season, le Clos has four individual wins. He swept the 100 fly, 200 fly and 50 fly skins at the very first match of the season, and he also won the 100 fly in Energy Standard’s second match.

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