Shanghai: Plenty to smile about for SA swimmers

2011-07-26 14:49

Cameron van der Burgh gave South African swimming fans plenty to cheer about as he advanced to the final in the men’s 50m breaststroke at the world swimming championships.

Also through to a final tomorrow is butterfly specialist Chad le Clos, while Wendy Trott finished a credible sixth in the final of the women’s 1 500m freestyle event.

Van der Burgh’s time of 26.90 seconds was just 0.23 seconds off his world record mark that he set in Rome two years ago.

He said that he would still not be putting himself under too much pressure for the final.

“I’ll just come up tomorrow and swim my own race. I think when you start to expect too much, then normally something goes wrong.”

The breaststroker, who is looking to defend the title he won in Rome, said that he would be doing some work before the next race.

“I’ll be watching the video and see if I can change anything. The Brazilian Felipe Franco da Silva came very strong towards the end, though I was leading from the start.”

Le Clos, who won the 200m butterfly at the Commonwealth Games last year in New Delhi, had the seventh-fastest time to advance to the finals of the event in Shanghai.

He finished in a time of 1 minute 55.56 seconds to leave him 1.26 seconds behind Takeshi Matsuda of Japan, who recorded the fastest time.

Le Clos swam his semi-final next to American super star Michael Phelps and said it was a great feeling.

“It was sick. I was so happy. I have always wanted to race next to him. I actually got too excited, because I was looking at him.”

Trott, who broke her South African record in the heats, again broke her previous mark, but could not better the time she had set in the heats.

“My goal was to make the final and see from there. I improved on my placing from Rome, so I am happy.”In the best race of the evening, Ryan Lochte defeated Phelps in the final of the men’s 200m freestyle, thereby beating his compatriot for the first time at a major meet.

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