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Bronze for SA in Pan Pacs
- Updated: August 21, 2010
South Africa’s 4x100m men’s freestyle team stormed to the bronze medal in the final event on the penultimate day of the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, California.
Lyndon Ferns, Gideon Louw, Roland Schoeman and Graeme Moore combined to stop the clock in 3min 15.93sec, in a race won in 3:11.74 by the formidable United States quartet, who led home Australia.
It was a solid result for South Africa though, whose 4x100m men’s freestyle side had famously upstaged the USA and Australia in the 2004 Olympic final. This was also South Africa’s second medal of the Pan Pacs ÔÇô a second bronze, after Schoeman’s in the 50m butterfly.
George Du Rand was the only one of the five individual South African swimmers in action on day three to make an elite ‘A’ final.
Du Rand had reached the final of the men’s 200m backstroke with a 1:58.69 display in the morning qualifiers, which had placed him sixth fastest overall. However, that was a gaping 2.25 seconds behind the quickest in the prelims, the impressive American Ryan Lochte, who is well on the way to being named swimmer of the championship.
Du Rand was unable to improve on that performance, with his 1:59.66 in the final again placing him sixth of the ‘A’ finalists, more than four seconds behind Lochte, who stormed to gold.
Jean Basson, hoping for a late call-up to the Commonwealth Games team, took to the water in two races in the men’s 400m freestyle. But in the morning’s heats Basson swam well below his best form when fading over the last 100m to finish in 3:53.90, which gave him 16th place on the list of qualifiers, one spot behind countryman Mark Randall.
However, hours later, in the ‘B’ final he managed to show glimpses of his true form, touching the wall in fourth spot in 3:51.38, this time holding things together over the final two lengths. Randall filled sixth position in this consolation final in 3:51.70. The good news is that both took more than two seconds off their qualifying efforts.
Earlier Sebastien Rousseau made no impression in the men’s 100m butterfly prelims, his 54.88 timing seeing him way down in 35th spot on the list of qualifiers, and over three seconds behind fastest qualifier Michael Phelps, of the United States.
Neil Versfeld’s 28.85 was only good enough for 16th position in qualifying for the men’s 50m breaststroke in a highly competitive field. He produced an almost identical swim in the evening’s ‘B’ final, with his 28.82 enough to see him beat one rival home, finishing seventh.
The Pan Pacs is a championship widely considered to be the third toughest behind the Olympics and the World Championships, mainly as it involves the two traditional strongest nations in the pool, the United States and Australia.