Townsend, Le Clos, Van der Burgh bag gold

2012-10-09 00:00

WORLD record holder and Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh started a second gold medal rush on Sunday evening on what was the final day of the Swimming World Cup at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Qatar, with Pietermaritzburg star Darian Townsend completing the haul.

Van der Burgh was in a league of his own from the start.

He led through the 50 metre mark in 26,88 seconds for another solid victory in 57,22. Glenn Snyders (New Zealand) chased hard to earn the silver in 58,13 and Daiya Seto (Japan) stole the bronze with a faster finish in 58,60.

Neil Versfeld was pipped into fifth place by just 0,03 by Michael Koch (Germany) who clocked 59,06.

It was then the turn of Olympic champion Chad le Clos to make amends for losing the men’s 200 metre butterfly by just 0,01 the night before.

Le Clos took command from the 50 metre mark as he turned in 23,39. He then used his strong underwater technique through the third turn to secure an excellent victory in a fast 49,60.

Russia’s Eugeny Korotyshkin came second in 50,22, with a fast finishing Thomas Shields (USA) bagging the bronze medal in 50,42.

SA’s next gold medal came from Pietermaritzburg’s Townsend, who continued his challenge with Hungarian Laszlo Cseh.

They were separated by less than 0,40 of a second all the way, until Townsend made the difference with the faster freestyle leg to clock 1:53,75 — just 0,10 ahead of Cseh.

Seto had a busy evening as he raced to third in 1:54,78.

Earlier, Townsend had opened his evening’s medal bid with the 200 metres freestyle, where he separated two Australians for the medals. Tommaso d’Orsogna snuck into first with a 1:43,84 to Townsend’s 1:43,95; while Robert Hurley took the bronze in 1:44,05.

Kathryn Meaklim swam to a third place in the women’s 400 metres IM in 4:46,05, while locally trained Tara Nicholas clocked 32,65 in the women’s 50 metres breaststroke for fifth place and 2:34,34 in the 200 metres breaststroke for sixth place.

In a very competitive men’s 50 metres freestyle where just 0,85 separated the eight swimmers, Anthony Ervin (USA) won in 21,02 with George Bovell (Trinidad) next on 21,06. But it was Aussie Kyle Richardson who stole the bronze medal from Roland Schoeman by just 0,01 of a second with a 21,54 swim.

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