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01.08.2012 Africa

Le Clos slept with gold Olympic medal

By AFP
Le Clos won't be parted from his gold.  By Christophe Simon (AFP)
LISTEN AUG 1, 2012
Le Clos won't be parted from his gold. By Christophe Simon (AFP)

LONDON (AFP) - Chad le Clos slept with his gold medal on after edging out US Olympics legend Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly final, his South Africa team-mate Oscar Pistorius revealed Wednesday.

Double amputee athlete Pistorius, dubbed the "Blade Runner", saw Le Clos in the lift heading down to breakfast the morning after Tuesday's night's thrilling victory over Phelps.

The 20-year-old swimmer was still wearing his gold medal and revealed he had not yet taken it off.

"I saw him in the lift this morning," Pistorius said.

"He had his medal around his neck, so I got to hold it and look at it. I said to him, 'where are you going?'. He said, 'oh, I'm going to the dining hall'.

"I was like, 'are you going to take your medal with you?' He said: 'I haven't taken it off since yesterday!' He slept with it around his neck!

"I don't know what's going to happen if he has another event. He'll have to swim with it strapped to his back."

Pistorius will become the first double amputee athlete to compete at an able-bodied Olympics when he lines up in the men's 400m.

He said Le Clos' efforts, beating Phelps into second place on a night when the American went on to claim a record 19th Olympic medal, boosted the South African team.

"Chad did a phenomenal job. As the youngster on the team he really stepped up and I don't think many in the world expected him to pip Phelps at the end like that," Pistorius said.

"It just really raises the team morale. It makes me very proud to be part of the team where athletes like that really step up."

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