Chad le Clos is happy and re-energised after switching coaches and cities.
Le Clos‚ who left long-time Pinetown-based mentor Graham Hill after the Rio Olympics to move to Cape Town from where he has linked up with Italian Andrea di Nino‚ said the 200m butterfly was still his main focus.
He stunned Michael Phelps to win gold in this event at the 2012 Olympics in London‚ but had to settle for fourth place in Brazil last year.
“The 200m free‚ 200m fly‚ 100m fly are the main ones‚” Le Clos said at the SA championships in Durban‚ where he is looking to qualify for the world championships in Budapest.
He achieved a qualifying time in the 100m freestyle on Monday night‚ but said he would probably compete internationally in that for the first time only at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year.
“The 200m fly first‚ then 200m free then 100m fly. In that order‚” Le Clos‚ who easily won his 200m freestyle heat yesterday morning in 1min 53.34sec, said.
That made him the third-fastest of the morning‚ behind Myles Brown (1:51.34) and Ruan Ras (1:52.80)‚ but he should speed up for the final today as he seeks the 1:47.73 A-qualifying time.
Le Clos won the 200m freestyle Olympic silver medal in 1:45.20‚ while Brown reached the semifinals.
“I’m just happy to get the times‚” Le Clos said.
He is South Africa’s most decorated Olympian of all time with four medals from two Games‚ one gold and three silvers.
“Before 2012 I was talking about being the best I can be‚ not always talking about getting a gold medal. Getting a gold medal is hard at world champs‚ getting a gold medal at Olympics is difficult.
“If I think back 10 years ago‚ three silvers and a gold is not a bad result in two Olympics.
“That’s how I’m going to approach my races from now on‚ like I did before 2012 [but] I’m always going to try and win‚ I’m never going to be happy with silver.”
Le Clos said relocating to Cape Town had worked out well.
“I’m happy. I’m in a really good environment with a new coach. I’m a different person to how I’ve been the past few years. I have people around me who are for me.
“The coaching staff are family‚ the whole new change-up has just been great for me. It’s nice to be appreciated by your people.
“It’s wrong for me to say better or worse‚ I’m just happier.”
Le Clos said he had worked on making technical changes to his freestyle and butterfly strokes.
“I’m really looking at technique‚ my freestyle is a little bit different.
“You’ll see in the 200m fly my technique’s a little different‚ a little more efficient. I’ve worked on a lot of technical things‚” he said‚ and he had also increased his gym work.