Olympic golden boy Chad le Clos carries South Africa’s medal hope at swimming’s world championships, which start Sunday, after the Rainbow Nation’s swim team solved its cash concerns.
Reports earlier this year suggested Le Clos and his team-mates, including Olympic 100m breast-stroke champion Cameron van der Burgh, would have to foot flight and accommodation bills to compete in Barcelona.
But while the national swimming body is cash strapped after losing its main sponsor, the government, plus national Olympic confederation SASCOC and world swimming body Fina have boosted the national association’s coffers.
A combined figure of 4.2 million rand ($425,000/¤325,000) has reportedly been raised, but part of it is earmarked for development programmes.
With costs concerns settled, the 21-year-old Le Cos is focused on matching his London 2012 form which saw him win 200m gold and 100m silver in the butterfly. He achieved the seemingly i mpossible in the London pool by pipping childhood hero and American superstar Michael Phelps for the 200-metre Olympics butterfly gold.