It was a very slow last day for the South African swimmers at the 15th World Swimming Championships as no one qualified for any finals.
South Africa’s golden stars, Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos, were in action yesterday with Darren Murray and Leith Shankland in the 4×100 medley relay, but finished in 11th place in a time of 3:36.22.
Murray started in the backstroke and swam a 55.17, followed by Van der Burg’s 1:00.47 in the breaststroke. Le Clos tried to close the gap with a 51.88 in the butterfly and Shankland finished off with a 48.70 in the freestyle.
“We had a really good week and it is a pity we did not make it. But I am not really a heats swimmer so will have to work on that.
“We have a very young team and we are building our relay teams. In the medley we have the fastest middle two (breaststroke and butterfly). We just need Darren and Leith to better their times and we will be competitive in Rio as I am sure they will improve in leaps and bounds,” said Van der Burgh after the swim.
The women also finished in 11th place in the 4×100 medley relay in a time of 4:06.46 and shaved seven seconds off their entry time of 4:13.80.
“It was a great experience to swim in the relay team at such a big event. I am very happy as I swam my best time in the backstroke,” said Jessica Ashley-Cooper after she swam a 1:01.84 in the first leg of relay.
Michael Meyer failed to qualify for the final of the 400m individual medley when he finished in 17th in a time of 4:21.17.
“I am disappointed, as it is not by best time. I did not feel very good in the backstroke today and that hindered me a little,” said Meyer.
Rene Warnes had a very long wait to finally get into the pool and swim the 400m individual medley as it was her only swim and on the last day of the championships. She finished 22nd in a time of 4:48.11.
“After the long wait of seven days, I am happy to say that I swam my best time here today. My previous best was 4:51.01. It was difficult to wait as I was actually getting quite bored just going to the pool every day to see everyone swim but me.
“But it all paid off with the time I swam today, so I am happy with that. I wanted to swim in the 200m butterfly as well, but I did not qualify with a B-time at nationals and only achieved that at the Speedo Prestige gala. So I was just too late to enter for it,” she said.
The team did better than ever before in terms of the number of gold medals – winning three. The last time they won five medals in total was in Melbourne in 2005.
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