Olympic champs continue to bag swimming medals

2012-10-04 00:00

OLYMPIC champions Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos continued their gold medal rush with another two outstanding performances on the open day of the Fina Arena Swimming World Cup that got under way at the Hamdan bin Mahommed bin Rashid Sports Complex in Dubai on Tuesday evening.

Van der Burgh was in his element as he took the gold in the men’s 50-metre breaststroke in a fast 26,64 seconds, but was equally excited about the silver medal going to his training partner Guilio Zorzi who clocked up an incredible 26,91 seconds.

The bronze medal went to New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders in 27,04 seconds — and Van Der Burgh was quick to say: “It was a 1-2-3 for us as Snyders was born in South Africa.”

Also in the final was Neil Versfeld who finished fifth in 27,24 seconds, while Roland Schoeman took seventh in 27,84 seconds.

Le Clos has had a difficult schedule after the Olympic Games with appearances all over and not much preparation for Dubai, and stood up to be counted once again as he raced to his first gold of the World Cups in the men’s 200-metre butterfly. Ironically, it was the very same pool where he really started his climb to stardom in winning the World Short Course Championships in December 2010. It was not an easy victory for the 20-year-old South African as Daiya Seto (Japan) pushed him hard all the way. Close races are what Le Clos often wins best and he did it again by just 0,10 seconds to strike gold in 1:51,61.

Schoeman was the man who started the medal haul with a third place in the men’s 100 m freestyle. Although he was a little disappointed in his time of 47,24 seconds, it was a solid effort despite feeling a little ill. Australian Kenth To was the victor in a fast 46,89 seconds ahead of veteran Anthony Irvin (U.S.) who claimed the silver in 47,04 seconds.

Darian Townsend raced to fifth spot in the 100- metre freestyle where he was happy with his 47,51 seconds before he took on Aussie To in the men’s 100-metre individual medley. To was outstanding once again with another victory in a fast 51,43 seconds, with Trinidad’s George Boval taking the silver in 52,19 seconds, and with Townsend taking the bronze in 52,60 seconds.

The South African flag was again flying high in the men’s 50-metre butterfly when Le Clos and Schoeman were hoping to take the top two places. But it was Kenyan Jaon Dunford who upset the order with a victory in 22,77 seconds with Le Clos touching in 22,86 seconds for second and Schoeman third in 22,94 seconds.

Gerhard Zandberg took sixth place in 54,50 seconds in the 100-metre individual medley, while Kathryn Meaklim finished fourth in the women’s 200-metre individual medley in 2:13,40. Neil Versfeld took another fifth place in the men’s 200-metre breaststroke in 2:07,71.

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