tv Extra Time BBC News June 2, 2018 2:30pm-3:00pm BST
this is bbc news — our latest headlines. the us defence secretary accuses china of trying to intimidate its neighbours by deploying missiles in disputed areas of the south china sea. president trump's summit with north korea is back on — confirmation after kim jong—un‘s envoy delivers a large letter to donald trump. visa says its services are now operating at full capacity — after customers across europe were left unable to make payments. the rail industry pledges to get train services in the north of england back on track as quickly as possible following days of disruption. now on bbc news, extra time. welcome to extra time. i'm rob bonnet. well, my guest today said recently "i'm a slugger — the harder you hit me, the harder i come back at you." boxer, maybe?
well, actually, no. south african chad le clos is a swimmer with a bagful of olympic, world and commonweatlh medals to his name. the most famous of them the gold he won at the london 2000 olympics, when he beat the apparently unbeatable american, michael phelps. so growing up in south africa, where football, rugby union, and cricket are king, what led him to unleash his fighter spirit in the pool? and chad le clos, welcome to extra time. um, i mentioned your approach to swimming in the introduction just now. and to finish the quote, i'll add "the more i believe, the more i fight — that's the way i swim." so how did you develop
that mentality? well, thanks for having me on the show. yeah, it's interesting, you know, i think, when i was always younger, we had this mentality, i think, south africans, are just, exactly what i say — the harder you hit me, the harder i'll come back at you. we've always just been tough like that in my family, and i wasjust — i always compare it to the movie southpaw, i don't know if you've seen that. ah, so there is a boxing analogy here already. yeah, well, kind of, i kind of see myself like that, and i kind of i came from that kind of programme, where the harder you hit me, the harder i come at you. and now with my change of programme, my change of — not mentality but harnessing my skills now and being more technical, and learning how to box cleverly, as i say, be more of a slugger. we'll certainly come onto that later but i'm just wondering, you mentioned the south african mentality, but what about the personal element of all this? i mean, for example — i pluck an idea out of the air — were you bullied at school? and your family life? there might be a lot of love there, but some tough love, too.
since i was young, i hated losing. that was the biggest thing for me. me and my father are obviously very close. he taught me everything i know when it came to sport and life itself. and, yeah, you know, you have to be tough, i think, especially in the sport game. you have to always strive to be the best version of yourself you can be and — and — for me, i have always hated losing. that's where it stemmed from, from a young age. clearly you were a football fan as a young boy. you could have been a professional footballer. who knows? but there was a moment when you decided football wasn't for you but swimming was. so how did that happen? i was very young. being from south africa, football, rugby, cricket, these were the mainstream sports. i think — my family came from a sporting background, a footballing background, i should say, and up until i was 13 or 14, just before high school, i was playing for the junior south african team. so... at the time i was going
for provincial league or state or whatever you call it here. funnily enough — and this shows the greatest of my dad — he came from a football background, never knew him as swimming, but saw that i have more potential in swimming, and guided me towards swimming. he did not make the decision for me, but saw that i did not maybe have a future in football and guided me into making that decision. you have done well financially, of course, but maybe there could have been more money in football. i mean, who knows? definitely more money in football. swimming is a very solitary, lonely sport, isn't it? and not one, one would imagine, that would capture the imagination of a young boy. uh, exactly that. i think for the me the biggest — should i say — start for me, was was in 2004, when i saw michael phelps for the first time. talking about him already? yeah, sorry about that.
i was 11 years old and i was so captivated by how he swam and he won the six golds. the way he dominated. in my mind, i wanted to be that guy. you know, be that kind of champion inside the pool. that's where it all started for me, and that's where the dream really began to take shape. and i said to my dad, "one day i'm going to go up against this guy and i'm going to beat him." and, of course, eventually you did. but before we get there, let's just talk about the kind of training facilities that you had in south africa. in durban, you come from durban. they were pretty rudimentary, weren't they? not the kind of sophisticated facilities that might be available in america or australia or in europe, as well. absolutely. i mean, for me, i don't want to slate south africa too much because i think that's made me an olympic champion. if i could change some things when i was growing up, i might not be the same person today. so i have to thank the facilities that i came from and — should i say — the hardships growing up, but in saying that,
as well, ifeel you get to a certain level where, with respect, you make it to the world champion, olympic champion level, you deserve to train in world—class facilities. you wouldn't necessarily ask beckham or ronaldo or one of those guys to go and train on an abslute mud pitch every day. that's the sort of thing i was going through for 16 or 17 years. i decided to make the changes before the 2016 olympic games, and i said to my old coach at the time, you know, "boss, i'm looking very change — after this olympic games, whatever the result is, ijust want to be in an environment where it is a more professional environment, where i can harness my skills and taken to the next level." yes, yes. but the kind of — the kind of facilities you were training in, pools with cracked tiles, leaves floating on top of the pool these sorts of things... that's the least of the worries! but it is the start. well, what were the others? tell us how difficult it was in those days. you would come in on monday morning and there would be chicken bones
on the bottom of the floor. there would be, yes, flying ants, lane ropes cracked, the pool had algae on the bottom. you know, like algae.... yeah. that's a health and safety issue! with all due respect, i don't think any of the american or british swimmers would even jump in there, to be honest. here's a quote from a documentary, unbelievable, which — which is very entertaining and you said "at the end of the day, i feel like the facilities, the hardships that i've gone through my career and life have made me who i am. the difficult times make you mentally tougher than the other guys" — the other guys are presumably the americans and australians. you feel strongly about that, do you? yes, my mentality has always been when i get on the block, i know that i am mentally one up on everybody else because i have done things that nobody else has done. maybe — i pride myself on being the hardest trainer in the world — but maybe those who trained — i would not say harder than me — but when you get to that level, i have had to deal with so much different stuff. i have had to go in swimming pools at 22 — 22 degrees, training
for the olympic games, whereas some of these guys don't evenjump in the pool unless it is 26, 25 degrees. i know i've done things others haven't. that makes me more confident about what i can do. and when i come down the last stretch, the last ten metres, i know there is no way that they're going to beat me. so what are we saying here? are we saying that the americans, the australians are a little bit soft, or pampered in terms of the elite facilities that they have at their disposal? i wouldn't say that. but i would say that i made the best of a bad situation. i wouldn't say that they are necessarily soft because they're great. i wish i'd had those facilities growing up. i was just about to ask you that. because you can turn that on its head and say if you'd had first—class facilities in south africa, maybe you would not be the swimmer you've become. do you think that is right? but nobody knows. my dad taught me to make the best of any situation. never complain about where you came from.
i remember where i came from. i always go back and visit everybody there. you know, for me, like i say, it is just about being the best version of myself that i can be. win, lose or draw at the olympics, i have a lot of give of his going into olympic games. but i never made an excuse. i got two silvers, i wasn't happy, but i didn't come out of that making excuses. with respect, if a lot of other people went through what i went through, they wouldn't have made it to the blocks. you've talked a bit about your father. what about family life as you were growing up there? as i understand it, the family schedule in terms of mealtimes and — and maybe even in terms of some of your siblings, perhaps getting a cold, they would be banished from the house — everything was geared effectively towards trying to create a world swimming champion. exactly that. yeah, i'm very particular about that. if someone was sick or anything, they would not be able to come to the house or sit with us. it is bad because sometimes i'd overseas for weeks at a time, and my mum got the flu in the weeks before,
or in the week before, and i wouldn't see her. i would eat in a different room. i ate in my room, she ate in the lounge. so for me, yeah, it was — it was quite weird. looking back on everything, we really made it as professional as we could for what we had. you know? so my family, and i'm very thankful for everything they have given me, honestly. well, you can't get much more professional than winning a gold medal in the london olympics in the 200 metres butterfly. take us to the moment on the block. you're — you're waiting there, waiting for the gun. what goes through your mind at that point? in that particular race? i mean, it was a such a weird day. i'll take you back a little bit earlier. i was thinking of... it was such a calm day for me. me and my coach at the time, we both... calm? very calm. three hourse before we were skyping his wife and kids. they were like, what are you doing? we were confident in what we could do. it was a weird feeling.
i remember looking down — actually, i was looking at michael — shouldn't be doing that. i remember looking down at my almost reflection, and thinking in 2.5 minutes‘ time, my life could be different. i kind of do the same thing before races. that is a very profound thought to have when you're about to engage in physical activity, isn't it, don't you think? it's crazy. i look back at some of the races i've had, especially that 0lympic gold, and especially that day, because the crowd there was unbelievable. because it was michael's 10th consecutive year of winning. yes exactly, undefeated. i was 20 years old. first olympic games. i was taking in the atmosphere. i obviously knew what i could do. but there's a difference between doing it and knowing you can do it, and at the end of the day, when you're standing on the blocks, i would be lying if i didn't say that i would have taken a silver or bronze.
not in that moment, of course, because in that moment, even if it's breaststroke, i believe i can beat adam peaty. but you realise the magnitude of the games when you arrive there and you see the likes of usain bolt, rafael nadal, who haven't even medalled, arrive there, and you see all the champions... some of them falter at the quarter—finals stage and you just think that you're amongst the best and it is such an honour to be there on the stage in london. but important not to be overawed by that, isn't it? of course. the strategy over the first two lengths, what would that have been? to me, the same as with michael, he had this sense of inevitability about him, an aura of greatness, which he obviously has. but i think that one of the reasons that i was able to beat him was because i wasn'tafraid of that. i've never been afraid of everybody. i humbly say this, you know? yeah. when i step on the block, whoever it is, whether it's a young kid coming through now or one of the older guys, even if he's a lot better than me, i still believe he's going down, you know? so it was almost like um, you know, if you look down, over the years, like mike tyson era, when he was just unbeatable,
and in the position where it took a special guy to come up against him. let's talk about those first two lengths and then actually beyond that, the third length and the fourth. and the prospect, you're still in touch with michael phelps, but he's still on the turn before the fourth length, he's still ahead, isn't he? yeah. my strategy was settle for three lengths and to beat him at his own game. because if he touches first with 50 to go no one can beat him. i'm the first to do that. for me, that's the way were training and we would come up with special techniques. we swum with t—shirts on, sometimes the last 50, just to prepare for when the pain comes. explain swimming with a t—shirt on. just for the drag. 0k.
for me, it was about preparing for that last 25 metres. becasue i knew that last 25 metres would be the difference. 0lympic final, against a guy like michael, who was, how do i say this? he wouldn't expect somebody like me to be pressing him coming down the stretch. yes. some have remarked — i'd be interested in your reaction to this — that in his failure to touch as quickly as he should have done, he lost the race, you didn't win it. how do you react to that? um... everybody can say their own thing. five hundredths of a second was the difference. of course, of course. but at the end of the day, if i was on the other end of the stick, sure there's a bit of luck element added to that. he had the same race when he won gold. he won by one one hundredth, so... are you saying you were lucky to win gold, then? i'm not saying that i was lucky. there was definitely an element of luck. all those years and five one—hundredths and the sacrifices that are made in those early mornings in that pool, that you saw me — at the end of the day, i think it was destiny. i was destined for that to happen. i dreamt of that moment
for such a long time. and i didn't realise at that time i was almost creating that law of attraction that made it come true. i let that manifest in my mind for so long. i dreamt of talking the gold. since i was 12, ijust envisioned myself racing him in butterfly and beating him. that was just what i always thought would happen. there a sense of destiny in this, and enormous pleasure it must have given not only you but your parents as well. as you know! 0nline, i do not know how many hits it has, an interview with your father that the bbc did. i think he is almost more of a celebrity than you are. i think even more. my family — i have the best family in the world, my family are the strongest family in the world and all the difficulties and the tough times that we have had, they have been supporting me and win, lose or draw, they've always been proud of me — and obviously, you saw my dad's
reaction, and my brother and sister and mother arejust as proud. and over the years after that, of course, this rivalry between you and michael phelps did develop and took a slightly nasty turn, didn't it? 0n the one hand, you've talked about him as your friend and idol. 0n the other hand, you took a dig in 2015 after winning the 100 metre butterfly, you said "i just did a time he has not done in four years, so he can keep quiet now." that was slightly agressive, and you do... do you regret that kind of aggressive... it is funny you say that. i've been wanting to clear this up for years... exclusively on the bbc. exclusively on the bbc, you guys got it first. no, what happened was, in 2015, he was talking about how the butterfly events were very slow since he has been retired, which was a bit of a dig at me since i was winning the butterfly events. i was pumped up when i won one race and i think i was talking to swim swam, on one of the american channels, nbc,
and they were asking how do you feel about this? i was saying look, guys, you actually misquoted me. you wouldn't catch me saying that. ijust said look, "i'm very happy i've done this time — michael has not done this time for years — and i'm very, very happy about that. " 0k. and then it was completely misquoted and he took it on the other side of the atlantic and he kind of said, "well, i'm going to use this..." i'm like "mate, i didn't say any of that stuff, you know." sure there was a rivalry, but it escalated. there was that shadowboxing thing, you shadowboxing and him bowing in the corner at one of the preliminary races. no, no, look, that wasjust... it didn't look very clever, did it? no, no. for me, i can't take back anything i have done. is that the moment overtaking you, or what is that? i didn't know the cameras were there, i was just kind of playing around. 0k. i was with some of my guys, we were joking actually about five minutes before it happened. it was a little bit of fun, it was not actually aimed at him,
to be honest with you. so you are best mates now, are you? we are friends. i have nothing but respect for what he's done. if he has any tension towards me, i do not think he does. but when we go to the olympics, we're not going to go to make big friends, we are there to race. so whatever happened in the field of battle, shall we say, shake hands afterwards, win, lose or draw. i congratulate you, you got the better of me in rio, no doubt about it. the score is 1—1, we will see. are you calling him out? if he would like to come back, i would love to have that happen. he is happy to be retired and he has a lovely family. and god bless him. it seems a little bit like unfinished business, does it? for me it does, it certainly does. um, after that olympic games, i was very disappointed... in rio, you came fourth. i came fourth, and i think
it was the worst performance of my career, really i do. no excuses, it is what it is. we'll see what happens in tokyo. hmm. all of that, of course, has occurred in a time when your parents have been suffering quite badly with cancer, haven't they? both as i understand it are now happily in remission, which is obviously very good news. just give us a bit of a feel for the kind of difficulties that caused you during that time, and maybe also an acknowledgement of the support they have given you despite their condition. sure, the most difficult time everfor me, personally. i think my mum had just gone for a checkup because she had breast cancer in 2010 and there was nothing there in march, and three or four weeks later, she felt something in her left breast. my dad said just go and check it, she said no, i was there three weeks ago. it turned out she had to have an emergency mastectomy
three days later. i didn't know. i had just left for camp. i went away, i didn't know this had happened. at that time, we did not know what was going to happen, we did not even know she was going to make it to the olympic games. so it was a horrible time for me, for my family, my brothers and sisters, not only me. my dad was obviously very sick with prostate cancer but, to be honest with you, i was more worried about my mum at the time. thankfully she's come right now, but it is touch and go. in saying that, there is no buts to olympic champion. there is no "chad le clos was the best butterfly swimmer of his time but his mother had cancer. " they're not going to say chad le clos‘s parents had cancer, no one cares about that, you know. for me, that's not an excuse. maybe it is a reason, one of the reasons, but at the end of the day, i'm not ever going to let that enter into my mind because difficulties happen in life and you just have to deal with them. and it would not be fair for me to,
maybe if in four years time, god forbid, something happens to someone else. mentally, these have been tough times. let's talk about the mental resilience that sometimes has failed. failed, it seems to me, one or two people in swimming. in fact, for example, ian thorpe, grant hackett, missy franklin, the american, they have all been through tough times mentally. is there something about swimming which brings that on? i referred to it being a very solitary sport earlier in the programme, do you have any way of accounting for that? possibly. i guess,now that you mention it, there have been very difficult times with all those names that you mention, and for myself as well, but i think sometimes you can't account fpr things like that in life, things just happen, and you can't, you have to just go
through the moments and... in one way or another, they were probably all suffering from a kind of depression. i can kind of relate to that and i think after 2012, i was always the same person before then and after it, but with this sudden burst of fame and everything that comes with it, you lose yourself sometimes because you get caught up in everything. this kind of thing often happens after retirement, doesn't it? yeah. post—0lympic depression. post—retirement. yes, exactly. you don't feel any concern that maybe when you eventually come to retire, maybe we'll talk about that in a moment, that that might happen to you? mentally, you feel strong and able to deal with that, do you? sure, i have a great family. going through what i did after 2012, i realised that nothing could fulfil that high that i went through during those games and even coming after the new year, going into the world championships, i didn't feel as motivated and everything just felt like it was like a drug, the winning was like a drug to me, it's so...
so it was a kind of cold turkey then? it was like that. and i don't want to say i got it back, but i've never felt so hungry now to succeed, especially after i lost in 2016. the first interview i did right after the final event, i said look guys, it is what it is, i'm not going to make excuses for what happened, but i can promise you now, in five months‘ time, i'm going to win the short—course. let's conclude with what you hoped would be your legacy. you have an academy now on the ground, you're hoping to build a strong force in south africa for swimming. exactly, it goes back to what you said earlier. the facilities are not quite there and i feel like we're losing a lot of kids to the system. with respect to some of the coaches, it is almost like the 60s, 70s, 80s, where theyjust train your kid like an animal at the age of eight years old.
they're world champions at 13, 1a, but by the time they're 18, they are tired, burnt out. i want to educate the youth of south africa. you are teaching swimming amongst the black population? absolutely, yes. we opened a chad le clos academy in cape town. we are hoping to open another six in the next 12 to 18 months. i believe, my big goal, you talk about wanting to offer swimming, i want one day someone‘s kid to walk in and say chad le clos taught me. that is my dream, to be one of the greatest swimmers of the world, and certainly in south africa. chad le clos, thank you for your time. hello good afternoon, play has
resumed at headingley in the test match but we still have heavy rain and thunderstorms further north across the uk. in the midlands, in stoke—on—trent, a lot of cloud from earlier, not much rain, we are very much on the edge of things and wetter weather to the north and we have slow—moving thundery downpours inland in particular across scotland. some heavy rain, coastal areas not doing badly, more storms developing in the next hours across northern ireland, wetter weather in northern england moving to the north
of leeds although heavy showers to the south of lincolnshire and east anglia as well, to wales and southern england ending the trade dry with it feeling warm there, this is the scene in mid wales, after all the rain and welcome change to the weather. 2425 degrees possibly towards london, much cooler in the rain towards the north of england, 23 around the money first. still storms this evening, they will fade from most areas although we will keep some cloud and showers going across southern scotland, northern england, some mist and fog patches clear to the skies after the missed today and temperatures between ten and 13. tomorrow it could be claudio pizarro and is governed scotland and northern england, further north sunshine in the west of scotland and northern ireland could trigger storms later and the odd rogue thundery shower further south in england and wales although most places will be dry sunny and warm with fewer showers in general on
sunday. more places will have a dry day. as we head into the beginning of next week, low—pressure across biscayne threatening to push up showers from the south, higher pressure to the north of scotland, easterly winds again, a lot of cloud over the north sea which will push inland. a cloudy start on monday. for most of the day and think eastern scotland, northern and eastern scotland, northern and eastern england through the midlands will stay grey and cloudy, further west this is were we've got sunshine, that could spark thundery showers but cooler where wicked the cloud across it eastern areas and there will be cloud across tuesday across england and wales with moss and travel scotland and northern england yet few if any thundery showers. it won't be as humid and it will feel cooler particularly if you are stuck under some of that cloud. i will see you later. this is bbc news. the headlines at 3pm. the us defence secretary warns china over its deployment of missiles in disputed areas of the south china sea. despite china's claims
to the contrary, the placement of these weapons systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion. president trump's summit with north korea is back on — confirmation comes after kim jong—un's envoy delivers a large letter to donald trump. visa says its services are now operating at full capacity — after customers across europe were left unable to make payments. spain's new prime minister has been sworn in, after leading the coalition which forced mariano rajoy out of office yesterday. also in the next hour — the latest on the recent disruption on the railways.