Chad le Clos has enjoyed a successful 2014, scooping two golds, a silver and four bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He also added a third Swimming World Cup title, becoming the first swimmer to win the tournament three times and the first man to win the series unbeaten.
The year also culminated in the 22-year-old being named the world's best by FINA, the international swimming federation and Sportsman of the Year at the SA sports awards.
Despite his impressive haul this year, Le Clos believes that he was not on top form, telling GiveMeSport: "The beginning of the year, I wasn't as focused as I think I was in previous years. Maybe that's why I got sick and injured because I wasn't prepared for all the travelling."
The swimmer's Commonwealth Games were almost ruined by illness; he suffered with asthma as a result of altitude sickness, which left Le Clos unable to swim for three weeks in the build up to the games.
"There was no way I could have got any more medals. I did the best I could and I am really delighted and proud of myself at the way things have turned out."
Combined with problems caused by extensive travelling in the second half of the year, the South African believes that 2014 can act as a springboard.
"I feel that I can achieve great things and sure I can, I can pursue it, saying that it's going to be a pretty hard year to beat, it's going to be hard to beat 2014 definitely," he added.
2016 Olympic plan
Le Clos is also planning next year with one eye on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: "My pre-season wasn't very good so my new year's resolution is to get that right and just really, really put everything into the Olympic title."
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