When South African schoolgirl Melanie Olhaus went to Johannesburg airport to greet Olympic champion Chad le Clos on his arrival home from London, she brought with her a poster asking the gold medallist whether he would go to her high school dance with her.

The sign was made in hope rather than expectation - but amazingly the hunky swimmer has agreed to the request.

"I just started to cry. I was shaking and I was so nervous," admitted 17-year-old Melanie.

Chad became a household name when he beat Michael Phelps in the men's 200m butterfly final at the London Games, while his father's passionate antics poolside also kept television viewers entertained.

Melanie was so taken by the 20-year-old star that she skipped school for the day so that she could see him arrive back in his native land.

Her sign read: "Chad, will you be my matric dance date???" together with pictures of her and him holding his gold medal. The matric dance is for final-year students at Melanie's Glenvista High School in Johannesburg and is akin to the high school proms they have in America.

"He said he thinks he's in the country at that time and he'll try and make it," Melanie told the Beeld newspaper.

"I didn't have a matric dance date yet and I thought, 'why not?' He's just so gorgeous!"

Despite the fact that she skipped school to land the date, Melanie's principal Marius Robinson is not about to stand in the way of the schoolgirl's dream date.

"Let's just say it was an urgent personal appointment," he joked.

Melanie, meanwhile, said that her classmates could forget about having a dance with her date.

"No, no no. He's all mine," she laughed.

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