Le Clos could shift base to Dubai for Paris Olympics
Olympic champion Chad le Clos at the GEMS Wellington Academy in Dubai on Wednesday. - Shihab
Dubai - The Olympic champion is preparing for the 2020 Games in Tokyo
Four-time Olympic medallist Chad le Clos has revealed that he could make Dubai his base in the future, quite possibly heading into the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.
The South African ace, who is currently preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, said that he could make a return to the very scene where he became the youngest ever world champion.
"I was here three weeks before the world championships and I was training," Le Clos told the Khaleej Times in a chat on Wednesday.
"It was really nice to come and swim with some of the team here but obviously my team is based in Turkey and I have to stay where my coach is. But after Olympics, I will see, maybe come here and settle a base up for me. So, we will see what happens," he added.
The 27-year-old, who famously beat swimming legend Michael Phelps to win gold in the 200m butterfly at the 2012 London Olympics, was in Dubai to inaugurate the Swimming Centre of Excellence at the GEMS Wellington Academy.
Le Clos, who won the 200m butterfly gold at the world championships in Dubai in 2010, has had a glittering career so far with his career littered with medals across the Olympics, world championships and the Commonwealth Games.
He has a gold and four silver medals at two Olympic Games and four gold, a silver and two bronze at four world championships but Le Clos picked out his first medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games as one which will have a special place in his heart.
"I think the best obviously is the Olympic gold in 2012 but I have a lot of sentimental medals like the 2010 Commonwealth Games, my first world title in Dubai, that's probably one of my most important ones. I was 18 years old, I was the youngest ever world champion. So, a lot of special memories and hopefully many more to come," felt Le Clos.
Le Clos won gold in the 200m butterfly in the Games held in New Delhi, India.
He will be participating in his third Olympics when he lines up in Tokyo and was eagerly looking forward to it.
"It is going to be a humdinger. There are going to be a lot of great champions that are going to be there and it is my third Olympics. It is crazy to think that it is my third Olympics but I feel excited, I feel confident but also just happy to be here, the position I am in, grateful for all the opportunities that I've had but also the fan base that I have globally. Wherever I go, I have huge support from all the people and that means a lot to me," he said.
And Le Clos said preparations have been going well as he works towards the showpiece event in 2020.
"It is going good. I'm preparing now, most of the time I'm in Turkey training, training camp with the team Energy Standard but I've also come to Dubai for training. It is hard work, there's nothing else to it, just work hard and be a part of the next steps and hopefully evolving as a swimmer and as a human being as well," said Le Clos.