Injury almost ruined my race to gold, says Le Clos

Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:29pm EDT
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By Sam Holden

GLASGOW (Reuters) - An ankle injury nearly prevented Olympic champion Chad le Clos from successfully defending his 200 meters butterfly title at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Saturday, the swimmer told Reuters.

The South African, who added gold to the silver and bronze he won in the pool on Friday, looked comfortable as he breezed to victory in one minute 55.07 seconds ahead of Australia’s Grant Irvine and Le Clos’s compatriot Sebastien Rousseau.

Yet the Olympic 200 butterfly champion said he feared things would not turn out so well after he fell on his ankle when getting off a bus the previous evening.

"I was really nervous. I came to the pool in heavy strapping and I had this puffy ankle," the 22-year-old said after defending the title he won in Delhi in 2010.

"This morning I was in a little bit of pain but I had 10 hours to rest it and didn’t feel it tonight."

Le Clos also won the 400 individual medley at the Commonwealth Games four years ago but chose not to defend his title in Glasgow, meaning the 200 butterfly took on extra significance.

"It was very important for me to defend my title because I didn’t defend my 400 meters title last night," he said

"We came into this competition not in the greatest shape, a little bit cagey due to the sickness I had a couple of weeks ago. I was in the altitude room and I had really bad asthma. To come here tonight and win the gold was the main goal.   Continued...

South Africa's Chad le Clos celebrates winning in the men's 200m Butterfly final at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young