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Two golds for Roland

The South African swimming team capped their final preparations before the FINA World Championships with a nine-medal haul at the three-day International Sette Colli competition in Rome at the weekend.

South African sprint specialist Roland Schoeman was king of the Foro Italico pool as he dashed to two gold medals, reports Sapa.

Schoeman took first place in the men’s 50-metre freestyle in 22.31 seconds, leaving Marco Orsi (22.36) of Italy in second place and his countrymen Luca Dotto and Andrea Rolla (22.47) in his wake.

World Championships medal contenders Cameron van der Burgh and Gerhard Zandberg joined Schoeman in the medal haul on the first day, both taking silver in their respective disciplines.

Van der Burgh is still looking for first place in the 100m breaststroke as he once again had to be content with his third silver out of three international galas with a time of 1min 01.12sec at Sette Colli. Zandberg added a silver medal in the men’s 50m backstroke to his collection of a gold and bronze medal he won at the recent Mare Nostrum series.

The 28-year-old lost narrowly to Spain’s Aschwin Wildeboer (25.26) in a time of 25.28 with Britain’s Liam Tancock (25.36) finishing in third place.

Van der Burgh continued his dominance in the men’s 50m breaststroke on the second day with another win in this discipline, clocking 27.62. He was followed by Germany’s Hendrik Feldwehr and Fabio Scozzoli of Italy in 27.82.

Commonwealth and world short course champion Chad le Clos finished in second place in the men’s 200m butterfly in a time of 1:57.12.

Meanwhile, Riaan Schoeman grabbed another medal for South Africa in the men’s 400m individual medley winning bronze in a time of 4:21.21.

Former world short course record holder Kathryn Meaklim clinched third place in the women’s 400m individual medley clocking 4:43.42. Meaklim finished behind Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry (4:38.18) in first place and Stefania Pirozzi (4:40.48) of Italy.

In the closing session of the competition, Schoeman capped his performances with yet another world class swim.

Schoeman beat current world record holder Rafael Munoz (23.66) of Spain and world champion Milorad Cavic (23.68) of Serbia in the men’s 50m butterfly, clocking 23.60.

Meaklim added another bronze medal on the same day in the women’s 200m individual medley in a time of 2:14.98.

Next up for the South Africann team is a training camp in Singapore from 11-19 July where they will add the finishing touches to their preparations for the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China from 16-31 July.


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