Swimming

South African swimmer Chad le Clos' Olympic preparation in limbo

Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos had to leave his Turkish base in a rush after his training schedule for the Tokyo Olympics was thrown into disarray last week.

The South African swimmer had set up in Turkey after an earlier camp in Italy had been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, but is now at home in Cape Town.

He is uncertain of his plans and is also unsure if the July 24-Aug 9 Olympics will go ahead as planned.

" I have no coach, no training partners. I could be stuck here until the Olympics," the 27-year-old told South Africa's Sunday Times.

"If they shut the gyms here, I don't have a plan B (for a pool). It's scary. I've spoken to some guys literally stuck in their homes. They can't do training.

"I was told Penny Oleksiak, the Canadian Olympic (100m freestyle) champion, hasn't swum in 20 days in Toronto."

Le Clos left Turkey after its government closed public places such as theatres, pools and gyms, in order to control the spread of the virus .

The 200m butterfly champion at London 2012 admitted he doubts whether Tokyo 2020 will go ahead as scheduled, but believes athletes should keep focused for now.

"Don't take your foot off the accelerator, don't make the mistake of thinking it might not happen, because if it takes just one per cent off you, you lose out big time," he said. - REUTERS

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