Le Clos begins Olympic gold bid in Kazan

Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:32am EDT
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By Nick Said

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Chad Le Clos knows he is under the pressure of expectation.

It happens every time he hits the pool deck.

The young South African, after all, beat Michael Phelps in the 200 meters butterfly at the London Olympics, relegating the most successful Olympian of all-time to silver and stopping the American from winning the event at three successive Games.

That expectation will crystallize even further at the world championships in Kazan, with the 23-year-old expecting them to provide a valuable insight to next year's Rio Olympics.

"There is a lot of pressure for sure, especially after the rocky time I have had with injury and illness,' Le Clos told Reuters via telephone.

"This is the most important event outside of the Olympics, everything after this is just warm-ups.

"I'll be racing against the same people as next year in Rio so it is important for me to show my best form to gauge where I am.

"So the world championships will be a vital test for me."   Continued...

Chad Le Clos of South Africa swims to win the men's 100m butterfly event of the FINA Swimming World Cup at the Aquatic Centre in Singapore November 2, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su