Durban, April 10: Chad le Clos was in the best shape of his life before the Olympics were postponed due to the coronavirus but warned his rivals he will be even more formidable in Tokyo next year.
Le Clos should have been competing in the final day of the South African National Swimming Championships on Thursday, but instead he was in lockdown at home with his family.
South Africa's most decorated Olympian, Le Clos felt ready to strike gold in Japan until the Games were called off just four months before they were scheduled to start.
The Durban native is hungrier than ever for Olympic glory after returning from Rio four years ago with two silver medals, one of which he hopes will be changed to gold after Sun Yang - winner of the 200-metre freestyle final - was given an eight-year ban for breaching anti-doping rules.
Le Clos, crowned Olympic 200m butterfly champion at London 2012, vowed to ensure he is at the peak of his powers back on the big stage next year.
He told Stats Perform: "Obviously it was a shame that the Olympics were called off, but it was something you cannot control.
"I'm ready to go again next year, I'm in good shape. I have an extra 12 years to be even better.
"I feel like I'm getting better, I feel like I was in the best shape of my life a couple of weeks ago. I'm confident I can come back, hopefully be better than I was in London and Rio and will be in the best shape possible next year."
Le Clos, who turns 28 on Sunday, is hopeful he will also head to the Paris 2024 Olympics in search of adding to his medal haul.
He added: "I think I can get to two more [Olympics], I think I'll be very competitive in the next one for sure.
"Again in 2024, we'll see what happens, it's a long way away but I'm just happy to be in the position that I'm in.
"I'm comfortable with where I'm at, we train really well and I'm very motivated. I lost my motivation after London, but I'm back to where I was now. I'm hungrier and I really want to be successful at the Olympics, I want to win again."