South African swimmer Chad Le Clos joined shooters Michael Gault and Phil Adams as the most decorated Commonwealth Games athletes ever on Sunday when he claimed his 18th medal by picking up silver in the men’s 200m butterfly.
The milestone comes 10 years to the day that Le Clos beat American great Michael Phelps in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics. Swimming out of lane five, the same lane he beat Phelps from, Le Clos was beaten to the wall by Lewis Clareburt with a winning of time of one minute, 55.60 seconds.
“I’m gutted not to have won, I’ll be honest,” said Le Clos, adding he plans to be top the podium before the end of the Games. “I would’ve cut my finger off to win tonight.
“It meant everything to me and my family; everyone in the stands, my friends flew out for this race. Fair play to Lewis, he had a great race,” added the South African swimmer.
A three-time Commonwealth Games champion in the event, Le Clos looked like he might make four leading with 50m to go but the 30-year-old would be overhauled down the stretch by Lewis, who adds the 200m butterfly title to the 400m individual medley gold he won earlier at the Sandwell Aquatic Centre.
Le Clos’s medal haul from four Commonwealth Games includes seven gold, four silver and seven bronze medals.
His trophy case also contains four Olympic (one gold, three silver) and seven world championship medals (four gold, one silver, two bronze).
What a great ambassador for the country.#TeamSA pic.twitter.com/B3iydCytrZ
— Team South Africa (@TeamSA2024) July 31, 2022