Babe-watch time for Le Clos

Zandile Mbabela

IT may be his fourth or fifth visit to the Friendly City, but Olympic gold medal swimmer Chad le Clos absolutely loves Nelson Mandela Bay – and its girls.

The hunky swimmer, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Friday, said he had made a number of friends in the city and found the girls especially “hot”.

“I really like it here. The people are friendly and the girls are just … whoah!” he said, flashing his trademark boyish smile.

Le Clos is in the city for the South African National Aquatic Championships, which are being held at the Newton Park swimming pool this week.

Many will be happy to know that Le Clos is single and ready to mingle. The swimmer will be hitting the town on Saturday night. .

“I don’t have a girlfriend. I’m going out on the town on Saturday night so I just might be up for grabs. Who knows?” he laughed.

Effortlessly doing 20 laps in the 50m pool, Le Clos is using the tournament to also train for the world championships in July.

Although he admits to being a little unfit, he was hoping to win two or three medals.

Le Clos was out of action for about six weeks last year due to a shoulder injury, after which he spent a lot of time on media engagements that ate away at his training time.

“I’ve been quite busy so it’s been difficult getting back to the Olympic Chad. My body is not that fit any more, but my mind still is. I’m still hungry,” he said.

Apart from the world championships in July, he is gearing up for what he says is a big year next year with the Commonwealth Games.

“I’m very excited about that and hope to get as much hype around it as Football Friday. I’m speaking to the [sports and recreation] minister [Fikile Mbalula] about that, so hoping he will bite,” he said.

Le Clos holds the record in the 50m and 100m butterfly at the Commonwealth Games. He beat Olympic champion and world record holder Michael Phelps to the gold medal in the 200m butterfly at last year’s London Olympics, and also won a silver in the 100m race.

He is preparing to start writing a book, which he insists is not an autobiography but an inspirational work for youngsters, next month.

“I’ve signed a deal with Penguin [publishers] and the book should be out around this time next year,” Le Clos said.

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