CAPE TOWN – “I watched him live – I watched him do the 43.03, and it was an unbelievable race.” That was Chad le Clos’ experience of Wayde van Niekerk’s record-breaking 400m at the 2016 Rio Olympics that catapulted the 25-year-old into a global superstar.
Le Clos spoke to IOL Sport at the premiere of the documentary ‘43.03: The Wayde van Niekerk Story’ at the V&A Waterfront this week.
The champion swimmer had made an extra effort to be in attendance, and he wouldn’t miss it for the world.
“Amazing. I actually just flew in from London – I landed about four hours ago! So, I’m very tired, but I knew that Wayde was having a big show. So I knew I had to be here in support of him,” Le Clos said.
“Good of him for doing this, and I think a lot of people are excited to see what he’s got to share with us. And just really excited to see what happens in future.
“It was awesome. I watched him live – I watched him do the 43.03, and it was an unbelievable race. I had a bet with my American friends, and they all said he wasn’t going to win.
“I said he’s going to win and break the world record! So, I was there live, and I’m just proud of what he’s achieved – inside and outside the track. And just a great ambassador for the country.”
Le Clos himself has been taking it easy since winning five medals at the Commonwealth Games in April, but will get back into the pool soon.
“It’s going great my side. Obviously my season starts in September, so it’s quite a long break after Commonwealth Games,” he said.
“I’ve been in London, Mauritius, having a bit of a good time – watching Man United play in the FA Cup final and losing, unfortunately! But I’m looking forward to the year, and being here in support of my friend.”