Chad le Clos has fond memories of Singapore, and was back in town on Friday for the Airwave Swimming World Cup to announce he would be an ambassador for next October’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
“I am really excited to be back here for a seventh time now. I had my big break here in the Youth Olympic Games in 2010, which helped me go on to Olympic success two years later, so Singapore always has a special place in my heart,” said Le Clos.
He then expanded on his Buenos Aires 2018 role in an interview with fina.org at the OCBC Aquatics Centre, venue for this weekend’s eighth and final leg of the Swimming World Cup.
“Being part of the first Youth Olympics in Singapore, I guess it was only fitting to make the announcement here. They asked me a few years ago if I wanted to do it for Nanjing 2014. Obviously I jumped on it and it was great to be there ,there was a bunch of life-sized Chad Le Clos posters around which was fun to see. It’s a very big honour for me, and my family, when I’m asked to do anything with the Olympic Committee and with FINA.”
“In Nanjing, I was watching how much quicker they were than when I was competing in Singapore. The one guy who stood out was Kyle Chalmers. He swam the 100 free and got beat, and two years later he was Olympic champion, same as my story. ”
“I never won the 200 metres fly or the 100 metres fly at the Youth Olympics, I went silver. I won the 200 medley.”
“I am looking forward to seeing the future; hopefully South Africa can also produce some more good youngsters. Hopefully the youngsters don’t get too good and beat me before Tokyo 2020 maybe afterwards is okay.”
“My role is giving the youngsters hope, sharing my career experiences having been part of a successful Youth Olympics and Olympics cycle and giving advice on what to do and what not to do.”
Le Clos 402 points has a 129 point advantage over second-placed Vladimir Morozov in 2016 series champion who in turn is 45 points clear of third-placed compatriot Kirill Prigoda as the eight-leg series comes to a conclusion this weekend.
The South African leads the three-leg cluster by six points from Morozov, and Daiya Seto, who broke the 400 metres IM World Cup record in Beijing last weekend, then lowered the mark a further 0.54 to 3:58.20 in front of his home crowd on Wednesday.