Cameron, Chad in finals | SASCOC - SASCOC

Cameron, Chad in finals

Cameron van der Burgh breezed into the final of the 50-metre breaststroke at the FINA World Championships with the fastest semi-final time in Shanghai, China on Tuesday.

After having qualified seventh fastest in the morning heats, the South African blitzed to a 26.90-second victory in the evening session’s third event. That’s 0.68sec quicker than his morning swim and 0.23sec outside the record he set at World Championships in Rome two years ago.

And shortly after Van der Burgh’s great race, team-mate Wendy Trott placed sixth in the final of the women’s 1500m and Chad le Clos went through to the finals of the men’s 200m butterfly.

Swimming in lane six in the evening’s second semi-final, 23-year-old Van der Burgh edged out Brazil’s Felipe Franca da Silva by 0.05sec and he’ll be favourite to retain his world title. In the morning heats Da Silva’s 27.19 had been the quickest of the qualifiers.

Third quickest in semis was Norway’s Alex Dale Oen in 27.33, the Norwegian having won an emotional 100m breaststroke final on Monday where Van der Burgh bagged bronze. The first semi-final of evening was won by Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli in 27.37sec.

In Trott’s race, the young Georgia University student clocked 16:06.02 and was pipped on the line for fifth by Australia’s Melissa Gorman.

Trott’s time was marginally slower than the 16:05.63 she clocked in Monday’s heats. She started conservatively, lying eighth and last after the first 100 metres. With 200m to swim she’d improved to fifth spot before being overhauled by Gorman (16:05.98).

The gold medal went to Denmark’s Lotte Friis in 15:49.59 who led from start to finish to comfortably beat America’s world recordholder Kate Ziegler (15:55.60).

In the evening’s penultimate race, Le Clos, seventh fastest in the morning’s 200m fly qualifying, was also seventh fastest in the semis. He came home in 1:55.56, almost a second quicker than the 1:56.37 he swam in the morning heats.

Fastest through to the final was Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda in 1:54:30 from China’s Yin Chen (1:54.80). World recordholder Michael Phelps was third fastest qualifier in 1:54.85. Just 0.64sec covered the first four finishers.