SA women’s medley team breaks record, but fails to advance

2011-07-30 10:39

The South African women’s 4x100m medley relay team today broke the national record, by 0.09 seconds, but still failed to advance to the final.

There was was better news for backstroker Gerhard Zandberg though, as he managed to top the field into today’s 50m backstroke final with a time of 24.72 – making him a top medal contender for tomorrow’s final.

World record holder and defending champion Liam Tancock from Britain recorded the tenth fastest time.

The women’s medley team of Karin Prinsloo, Suzaan van Biljon, Vanessa Mohr and Leone Vorster recorded a time of 4 minutes 4.97 seconds, leaving them 5th in their heat and 15th overall.

This placing did not qualify them for the London Olympics next August, however they still had a year where they can get the qualifying time.

Van Biljon was also involved in the women’s 50m breaststroke in the morning session and managed a personal best in 31.96, which was good enough to see her through to the semi-finals with the 15th-fastest time.

She said that she had not expected to get through.

“But my coach said to me if I get a time like that, I could get in.”

World record holder Jessica Hardy from America swam the fastest time for the event in 30.20 seconds.

Sprinter Prinsloo swam the 50m freestyle heats and recorded a time of 25.89 leaving her last in her heat and a disappointing 25th overall – well outside the top 16 that qualify for the semi-finals.

“I did not swim so well because I didn’t have a proper warm-up I guess,” she explained.

Sweden’s Theresa Alshammar and Hardy – who swam the breaststroke shortly afterwards – were fastest in the women’s 50m freestyle, both clocking 24.82.

In the absence of Germany’s defending champion and world record holder Britta Steffen, who has returned to Germany after a disappointing showing in the heats of the 100m freestyle, the 50m race seems wide open.

South African 1 500m freestyle swimmer Heerden Herman disappointed with a time of 15:21.92 minutes that left him in 17th place.

Local favourite Sun Yang recorded the fastest time in 14:48.13 – well outside the oldest swimming world record that exists, the 14:34.56 swum by Australian Grant Hackett in Japan in 2001.

The finals of the women’s 50m butterfly, the 200m backstroke, the 800m freestyle and the 4x100 medley relay, as well as the men’s 50m freestyle and the 100m butterfly will be swum in this evening session at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai.

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