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Chad le Clos will have another go at Paris Olympics says TeamSA swimming coach

31 July 2021 2:12 PM
Tags:
Chad le Clos
Cameron van der Burgh
Swimming
Olympic Games
Tatjana Schoenmaker
Tokyo Olympics
TeamSA
Paris Olympics
Wayne Riddin
Rocco Meiring

Weekend Breakfast chats to Wayne Riddin in Tokyo about Tatjana Schoenmaker, Chad le Clos and a bright future for SA swimmers.

- Star SA Olympian Chad le Clos was eliminated from the men's 100m butterfly at the Tokyo Olympics, but he'll be back in Paris in 2024 says Wayne Riddin

- The national coach says SA's swimmers will reap the benefits of what medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker achieved at the Games

- He believes South Africa will see a number of medals at the Commonwealth Games next year


The Tokyo Olympics have been devastating for star SA Olympian Chad le Clos who was eliminated from the men's 100m butterfly this week.

At the other end of the scale, Tatjana Schoenmaker scooped gold for South Africa in the women's 200m breaststroke.

Amy MacIver, in for Sara-Jayne King, chats to swimming coach Wayne Riddin about TeamSA's performance and his experience at the Olympic Village.

© frinz/123rf.com: Chad Le Clos RSA in action during Barcelona FINA World Swimming Championships, 2013

Riddin is one of four coaches in Tokyo with the team.

He is full of praise for Rocco Meiring, Schoenmaker's main coach.

He really made history here. He had two swimmers in that final of the 200m breaststroke... All credit goes to him.

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

The first day was a bit of a dismal start, people were very nervous, and then Tatjana went into the heats of the 100m breaststroke and broke the Olympic record and not many girls have ever broken 1:05... so the spirit just lifted!

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

She picked up the silver medal [in the 100m], learning how to race at this kind of level. The thing is, she didn't come here to win the gold in the 100m... She was here because she was ranked Number One in the world in the 200m breaststroke...

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

She actually didn't see that she'd broken the world record... She actually thought she'd done a 2:19 again until she realised it was a 2:18 and she'd broken the world record and the reaction was just amazing. I think the whole country was in tears!

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

Riddin describes the atmosphere in the Olympic Village when the triumphant swimmer returned to base.

He says he last experienced something as special when Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games.

So really what she did this week has just made it absolutely amazing for everybody and the spirit here last night in the village with the welcoming party was absolutely amazing! I experienced the same thing in 2012 when Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh got those gold medals. It was something really special to witness again.

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

We're relaxing at the moment; there's only one more day of swimming left... Most of the team will on the plane tomorrow night... We've just got the open water swimming that we're staying behind for...

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

They've done a really great job here in Tokyo keeping everybody safe... We get tested daily...

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

Le Clos had a really difficult buildup says Riddin.

He believes a lot of the swimmers were tired as the new International Swimming League had taken its toll on them.

With the Covid situation on top of it, Chad was based in South Africa for a lot longer... We tried to build up as well as we could for the Olympic Games...

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

While he's disappointed he's not walking away. He's still going to have another go in three years' time to go to Paris. Things like this actually make you stronger.

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

Hopefully a couple of the swimmers who didn't quite get it right here will regroup a little bit. We've got a really busy year next year...

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

This year the girls have come out and really shown that they can lift it up. I think Tatjana's peformance is really going to have a lot more women coming through... We'll reap the benefits of what Tatjana has done for us...

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

I think we're going to see a number of medals at the Commonwealth Games...

Wayne Riddin, National swimming coach

Scroll to the top of the article for the audio to listen to the interview with Riddin




31 July 2021 2:12 PM
Tags:
Chad le Clos
Cameron van der Burgh
Swimming
Olympic Games
Tatjana Schoenmaker
Tokyo Olympics
TeamSA
Paris Olympics
Wayne Riddin
Rocco Meiring

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