Cameron van der Burgh made the South African team smile on the opening day of the 15th Fina World Swimming Championships in Barcelona by qualifying for the final of the men’s 100m breaststroke.
After finishing seventh in the morning heats in 1 minute 0.02 seconds yesterday – considerably slower than his world record of 58.46 which he swam in London last year – he booked his place in the final, swimming the joint second fastest time in the semifinals in 59.78.
“There is still a few technical things I have to work out before the final, but I think I have enough in the tank to give it a good shot. I must admit I am not in the form I was at the Olympics as I was injured, but will give it my best shot,” he said.
The other swimmers had some disappointing results.
Veteran Roland Schoeman went from hero to zero after posting the fastest time in the morning heats of the 50m butterfly in 23.02, only to fail to make it to the final after swimming a slower time of 23.25, missing qualifying for the final by 0.09 seconds.
“I just do not know what happened. I felt faster than in the morning, but I will have to look at the video to see what went wrong. But that is how it goes,” said Schoeman afterwards.
Chad le Clos, double Olympic medallist could also not qualify for the final as he lost out in the morning heats, swimming a time of 23.76 and could only manage a 23rd place.
Myles Brown swam his first time ever final at a big event in the 400 freestyle. He finished sixth in a time of 3:48.40 and could not improve on his best time of 3:44.67, which he swam in the morning.
“I really wanted to swim faster than in the morning as I wanted to improve, but just could not. I am still happy with my time and I will use this event as experience for the Olympic Games in Rio,” said the young swimmer.
Of the younger swimmers Marilies Ross swam her best time in the 200 individual medley in the morning heats, clocking 2:16.94, almost two seconds faster than her entry time of 2:18.53.
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