One suspects the pain of losing his 200m butterfly crown will linger much longer before Chad le Clos will be his old self again.

Last week was supposed to be Le Clos’ crowning glory and although he became South Africa’s most decorated Olympian - three silver and a gold - the feat felt almost empty.

Winning the 100m butterfly would have been the first step towards regaining his confidence, but he shared a silver medal with his two biggest rivals - swimming legend Michael Phelps and Hungarian Laszlo Cseh - as Singapore sensation Jospeh Schooling won gold.

Chad says: “It still stings, I can’t pretend I am too happy, I’m not, but it is the Olympic Games and I have to have respect [that].

“I am terribly disappointed with two silvers but if you would have asked me 10 years ago would you want to have three silvers and a gold at the Olympic Games I would have taken it with both hands.”