Bronze for Cameron | SASCOC - SASCOC

Bronze for Cameron

Cameron van der Burgh secured South Africa’s second bronze medal in a lightning fast men’s 100m breaststroke final at the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome on Monday night.┬á

In a race that saw Australian Brenton Rickard take gold in 58.58 (eclipsing the world record of 58.91 held by Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima) and Frenchman Hughes Duboscq claiming silver in 58.64, Van der Burgh’s third place finish in 59.95 moved him to fourth place on the world’s all-time list in the discipline.┬á

“I changed coaches earlier this year and now follow the programme of┬áNorimasa Hirai who used to coach 100 and 200m Beijing Olympic┬ábreaststroke gold medallist Kosuke Kitajima,” said a delighted Van der Burgh afterwards, with the bronze adding to his bronze medal achieved in the 50m breaststroke at the 2007 world showpiece held in Melbourne.┬á

“The training programme that I am on is much more endurance focused than my previous training which was built on speed, so I really never knew what to expect coming into these world championships, but to me swimming is not always about the times clocked. People remember the position that a swimmer finished in and how many medals they got in their career.”┬á

“Maybe one day when I have mastered the new training programme I will be even stronger and be able to chase these guys down,” he said, pointing at Rickard and Duboscq.┬á

Van der Burgh’s bronze medal was SA’s second at the World Championships, following Chad Ho’s third place finish in the 5km open water swim in Ostia last week.┬á

In more evening session action, Jean Basson booked his place in the 200m freestyle final, by clocking 1:45.82 in the semi-finals of the discipline. 

Earlier in the day, the University of Georgia-based Trott advanced to the final of the 1500m freestyle in clocking 16 min 8.98 secs to produce the sixth fastest time of the morning, well inside her previous African record time of 16:10.97 set in Durban in April this year. 

In 100m backstroke action in the first session today, George du Rand produced a career best time of 54.29 (inside his previous mark of 54.6), 

while Durbanite Charl van Zyl clocked 54.67 to put himself as the fastest┬áunder-18 swimmer in the world in this discipline. Van Zyl’s previous career best mark had stood at 55.2.┬á

Due to the high standard at the World Championships, both swimmers were not able to advance to the next round. 

Following the morning session, the SA team management gave backstroke swimmer Darren Murray and 200m breaststroke star Neil Versfeld their chance in a 100m time trial in a bid to finalise the selection for the 4x100m medley relay. 

Murray clocked 55.5 secs in the 100 metres backstroke, while Versfeld finished the 100m breaststroke in a brisk 1:00.26. 

On Tuesday morning, Van der Burgh and Thabang Moeketsane will line up for 50m breaststroke heats, while Sebastien Rousseau will compete in the 200m butterfly preliminary round. 

Meanwhile, Nicolette Poulos’ national women’s water polo side went down 16-9 to Uzbekistan in the playoff fixture for 15th and 16th places at the world showpiece.┬á

After holding their opponents to a 4-all tie after the first chukka, the South Africans lost focus which has been a major downfall of the team at the World Championships, according to Poulos.