Chad cel­e­brates his birth­day swim­mingly

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ARTHI GOPI

CEL­E­BRAT­ING his 26th birth­day at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Aus­tralia was the cherry on top for Dur­ban’s swim­ming star Chad le Clos, who was in record-break­ing form at the Games this week.

As he and his fam­ily wrap up the marathon swim­ming fest, Le Clos thanked South Africans for their sup­port.

“I re­ally feel the love, a big thanks to ev­ery­one,” he told In­de­pen­dent Me­dia from the Gold Coast yes­ter­day.

Le Clos en­tered the record books by be­com­ing the first swim­mer to win gold medals in three con­sec­u­tive Com­mon­wealth Games, and with 17 medals in to­tal over the three edi­tions, he’s be­come the Games’ most dec­o­rated swim­mer. He won five medals at this year’s edi­tion.

“It’s been a won­der­ful week, it couldn’t have gone bet­ter. The se­cond half of the week was fan­tas­tic cel­e­brat­ing my birth­day with my fam­ily and friends,” said Le Clos, who turned 26 on Thurs­day.

The Games end to­day.

The fam­ily head back to Dur­ban on Mon­day, while Le Clos flies to Cape Town where he will con­tinue to train.

His dad, Bert, also speak­ing to the pa­per from Aus­tralia, said: “The medals were un­be­liev­able and ev­ery­one is hap­pier than we’ve ever been. All I can say is that my liver can’t take much more of the cel­e­bra­tions.”

Bert and his wife Geraldine and son Jor­dan were in Aus­tralia sup­port­ing Chad.

Le Clos is to make an an­nounce­ment soon about a new ini­tia­tive he will be launch­ing, fo­cused on swim­ming.

Le Clos fa­mously pipped US swim­ming sen­sa­tion Michael Phelps at the 2012 Olympics in Lon­don in the 200m but­ter- fly. He com­pleted the swim in 1 min 52.96 sec, 0.05 sec­onds faster than Phelps.

The fol­low­ing year he had the sil­ver Or­der of Ikhamanga con­ferred on him for his in­ter- na­tional swim­ming achieve­ments, and in 2014 he scooped a host of first prizes at the World Short Course Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships and was named Swim­mer of the Year.

PIC­TURES: SUP­PLIED

Chad le Clos af­ter his gold medal-win­ning vic­to­ries in Aus­tralia’s Gold Coast.

Le Clos cel­e­brated be­ing the most dec­o­rated swim­mer at the Com­mon­wealth Games, as well as his 26th birth­day on Thurs­day, with fam­ily and friends.

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