Commonwealth Games: Clyde Lewis Shattered After 400m Medley Triumph Replacing Mitch Larkin

Clyde Lewis can call himself a Commonwealth Games champion after a last-minute call up to the men’s 400m medley, in a race that exacted one hell of a toll on his body.

Lewis put body and soul into a sensational swim in driving rain on the Gold Coast, streaking ahead in the freestyle climax that would be worth at least a place in an Olympic medley finals.

But the swim proved so draining for a man who scorched his personal best by more than three seconds — he was barely able to stand during his pool-side interview with the Seven Network.

Offered a chair to sit on with concerns he might faint, the keeled-over Lewis gave one-word answers as he tried to recover from incredible fatigue and build-up of lactic acid.

When asked how he felt immediately after his race, Lewis had just one response: “Obliterated.”

Silver medalist Mark Szaranek, gold medalist Clyde Lewis of Australia and bronze medalist Lewis Clareburt stand on the podium.

But having regained his strength shortly after the medal ceremony, the refreshed Lewis was able to praise coach Dean Boxall — a mentor he shares with Mitch Larkin.

“I can think now. It’s just fantastic. I don’t know how to describe it. I haven’t felt emotion like this in my sporting career before,” he said.

“[Boxall is] just as much a part of it as I am, and of the sport. He’s such a passionate man and he’ll get behind you no matter what, so I really appreciate what he’s done for me the last three years.”

Lewis was only a replacement for backstroke star Larkin, who was the first name pencilled in for the medley.

Australian teammate Larkin starred shortly afterwards with a gold-winning swim in the 100m backstroke final.

Mitch Larkin stands on the podium, smiling and wearing a Gold Medal.

With fears Larkin had only 15 minutes to recover from a potentially gruelling medley race and his backstroke event, Larkin opted out of the medley, gifting Lewis a chance he took with aplomb.

“When I got the call-up to do it, there was no hesitation to say yes, and it all paid off in the end,” he said.

“I’ll buy Mitch a beer, he’s a legend. He won the 100m backstroke, so I guess his decision worked out well for him as well.

“And of course it worked out well for me.”

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