Official website of 16th FINA World Championships 2015 in Kazan
16th FINA World Championships

July 24 - August 9, 2015

Chad le Clos: I wanted to be like Cristiano Ronaldo

R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya
08.08.2015, 20:58 Sport
London 2012 champion, Chad le Clos of South Africa, won the men’s 100m butterfly event at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan. Chad proved his world title covering the distance in 50.56 and leaving behind five-time Olympic champion, Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, who had earlier beaten the South African in the semifinal.

Chad had finished second in the 200m butterfly final, losing the battle to the experienced Hungarian swimmer. Finally, tonight it was his turn to celebrate victory.

“After the 200m fly misfortune, I am glad that I managed to win today. I’m happy to have earned the gold medal. My dad was supporting me in the stands; it was something special. I admire Laszlo Cseh. He is a great swimmer. I will miss him after he retires.”

The journalists asked Chad to explain why he will miss the five-time Olympic champion.

“Laszlo is a great athlete and it is an honour to swim with him in one heat. We have competed in the same heats since 2010. I’ve grown up as an athlete in his company. If I was asked to name my role model, then it would be Laszlo,” le Clos explained.

“I’m glad to be in Russia, to swim in this wonderful swimming pool. I am a former footballer, so it is fantastic to swim in a pool constructed on a football pitch. I’ve been into football all my life, it is our family tradition. I wanted to be like Cristiano Ronaldo and play for Manchester United. And now since I was given a chance to perform as a swimmer in the football stadium, one can say my dream has come true. I’d like to thank the Championships organisers for this opportunity,” Chad said to journalists.

Michael Phelps, who lost to Chad le Clos in the 200m butterfly event at London 2012, doesn’t compete in the FINA World Championships in Kazan, that’s why the South African swimmer has high medal expectations for the closing day.  

“There’s no doubt that Michael Phelps is a remarkable swimmer but we have absolutely different swimming techniques. Despite the high results he’s showing, mine are not diminished at all, I am a worthy swimmer too. I am looking forward to Rio 2016 where I will compete with him again. It is going to be an incredible show, clearly not worse than at London 2012.”

The last thing Chad le Clos mentioned was his predictions about what country will top the overall medal standings.

“I can say that the 100m butterfly event is getting better and better every year and so are its results. Maybe you’ve noticed that it has been the fastest final over the last few years. Since 2009 the swimmers cannot boast such good results neither in the prelims, semis nor in the finals. It is difficult to make any predictions because sport is progressing rather dynamically. We are definitely about to see what is ahead of us,” Chad le Clos summed up.

Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships