Roland Schoeman and Chad le Clos will try to increase South Africa’s medal tally at the 15th Fina World Swimming Championships when they do battle in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly respectively today.
Le Clos, who is already the 200m butterfly champion, will want to add the 100m, the event in which he won silver at the London Olympics after Michael Phelps beat him in the final.
With Phelps retired, he has another strong competitor in Ryan Lochte, who won the 200m individual medley in 1:54.98.
After all the excitement of the previous night, it was a relatively quiet day for the South African team in Spain yesterday.
Karin Prinsloo qualified for the semifinal of the 100m freestyle in a time of 55.05 seconds, but failed to qualify for the final when she finished 14th overall in 55.00 seconds. This time was just short of her best time of 54.97, which is also the South African record.
“My target at the championships was to make it into two semifinals and I achieved that. I like to set myself targets that are achievable and try to improve every year. Next year I want to make it to the finals at the Commonwealth Games,” said the business studies graduate.
Prinsloo was busy at the championships, swimming in four events with her last one today when she tackles the 200m backstroke.
“I feel better in the freestyle, but my times are better in the backstroke so we will see how that goes,” said Prinsloo, who started swimming when she was six years old.
Prinsloo will return to South Africa and start a rehabilitation programme for a groin injury she has struggled with for a while.
The only other South African swimmer who qualified for the semifinals of the 200m backstroke was Darren Murray in a time of 1:59.90. But he had a nightmare in the final of the event, finishing in a very slow 2:02.12, with his best time being 1:58.73.
“That was a really bad swim. I slipped pushing away and then I just had no momentum and fell way behind the rest of the swimmers. This is my favourite event and I wanted to do better,” said a disappointed Murray.
The Pretoria-based swimmer said he will take a few days off when he returns to South Africa, but then training will start again.
“I really need to work hard because I cannot make any more excuses. I need to get it right from now on,” he said.
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