Van Zyl leads SA medal haul on day two of second leg of Mare Nostrum

2009-06-12 00:00

A NUMBER of South African swimmers once again took to the podium on the second day of the second leg of the annual Mare Nostrum in Canet de Rousillon, France, yesterday.

But it was the talented Charl van Zyl who began the medals haul with an excellent swim in the men’s 200m backstroke where he did not let Russian Stanislav Donets have things his own way. Van Zyl actually closed the gap on the final 50m and ended just 0,79sec behind in an outstanding 2:01,52.

Next to follow was Cameron van der Burgh, who took the men’s 100m breaststroke out hard and then paid the price as Australian Christian Sprenger finished strongly to win in 1:00,40 ahead of American Mark Gangloff in 1:01,68. Van der Burgh ended third on 1:01,77.

Kathryn Meaklim then took up the challenge in the women’s 400m IM where she came home in a comfortable second place to the high-riding Brit Hannah Miley, who won in 4:38,27. Meaklim clocked a sound 4:43,63. Also in the race was Wendy Trott, who did well to finish 4th in a fast 4:49,09.

Young Chad le Clos came close to the medals in the men’s 400m IM. It was only in the last 50m that third- placed Gal Nevo (Israel) got ahead by a fraction of a second. Le Clos clocked 4:21,61, while Nevo touched in 4:20,66. Dinko Jukic (Austria) won in 4:18,69 with Vytautas Janusaitis (Lithualia) next in 4:19,65.

Completing the medals for the South Africans was Darian Townsend, who took third spot in the men’s 100m butterfly, clocking 53,58sec. Nikolay Skvortsov (Russia) took second in 52,67sec, while the race was led from the start by Andrew Lauterstein (Australia) who clocked a fast 51,70sec for a meet record.

The men’s 50m freestyle drew the crowds as expected. Frenchman Fred Busquets rose to the occasion once again to win from lane 1 in 21,65sec, just 0,01sec ahead of Brazil’s Cesar Cielo. Australian Eamon Sullivan took third in 21,94sec, just 0,01sec ahead of Cullen Jones (U.S.).

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