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Le Clos amazed to have taken gold ahead of Phelps

08-01-2012 07:04 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Chad le Clos could hardly believe he had won and Olympic gold medal in the 200 meters butterfly and beaten the great Michael Phelps to do so.

Phelps had looked certain to win the race, only for Le Clos to get the first touch on the wall and beat the American by 0.05 of a second.

The silver medal Phelps won was the 18th Olympic medal of his career and he would later go on to win a record breaking 19th Olympic medal, but that was taking none of the sheen off Le Clos' triumph.

"It was an honor to be in the final, I didn't really think I was going to win the race, but I am so proud to be here and achieve what I achieved," he said.

"I think I was really lucky, I had a perfect touch at the finish: it was incredible to have beaten him."

"I have watched all Michael's races and I know he finishes strong and does well underwater," said Le Clos, who had never expected to win the gold medal.

"The race was more than an Olympic final for me, because Michael Phelps has been an inspiration for me ever since seeing him win 6 golds in Athens. I couldn't believe it when I caught him in the last 25 meters. It was like it came in slow motion and all I could remember was my coach telling me to keep my strokes long," said Le Clos, who had nothing other than praise for Phelps.

"I'm his biggest fan and he is the greatest Olympian of all time. The legacy he has left behind is incredible. After the race he congratulated me and told me to live the moment, it was really special that he said that to me," he added.

Bronze medalist, Takeshi Matsuda took bronze, his feat from Beijing four years ago.

"I have been able to find different motivation in every race. I produced my best performance so far here," he said, before praising Phelps' historic achievement.

"Well today he was second in our race, but his achievements are incredible and his legacy will never change. I would like to beat him at some point and that motivation is what has driven me on," said Matsuda, who explained that he had benefitted from carrying out altitude training on various occasions.

"When I then come back down to swim at ground level, I find it is a lot easier for me," he said.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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