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Vd Burgh into semis

Fresh from his bronze medal in the 100-metre breaststroke on Monday, Cameron van der Burgh qualified for the semi-finals of his speciality event, the 50m breaststroke at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China on Tuesday.

After his lifetime best of 59.49sec in Monday’s 100m (the first time he’s cracked the one-minute barrier) Van der Burgh was one of two successful swimmers for Team South Africa in the morning action, with two competitors going through to the next stages.

He was seventh fastest qualifier, touching in 27.58sec, 0.39sec behind the quickest time of the 45 swimmers in action in the morning heats. That was the 27.19 set by Brazil’s Franca da Silva.

The Pretoria based swimmer’s time was understandably way off the 26.67sec world record that he swam almost exactly two years ago at the FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy but the reigning world champion was clearly saving himself for a big effort in the final.

Also in action in morning action for Team South Africa were Chad le Clos and Sebastien Rousseau. Le Clos went through to the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly comfortably enough with a time of 1min 56.37sec as, like Van der Burgh in the breaststroke, he ended seventh. Le Clos went through halfway in 55.91 and passed 150m in 1:25.91.

Fastest in the heats was Austria’s Dinko Jukic who clocked 1:55.26.

But Le Clos’s team-mate in the 200 fly, Rousseau agonisingly missed out on automatic qualifying when he was 17th quickest in the heats, his 1:57.15 just 0.12sec outside the last qualifying time. World recordholder Michael Phelps was 11th fastest qualifier in the heats, cruising leisurely to a 1:56.77.

There was no joy for Karin Prinsloo in the 200m freestyle heats as she failed to progress to the semi-finals. Prinsloo’s 1:59.52 was 25th quickest, behind American Allison Schmitt’s 1:56.66.

It didn’t get any better in the men’s 800m freestyle heats as neither Heerden Herman nor Mark Randall progressed to the next stage. Herman clocked 8:01.79 for 18th spot while Randall was two places behind him in 20th spot ÔÇô 8:02.45, 17.16sec behind winner Yang Sun of China who clocked 7:45.29sec.

Later in the day Wendy Trott will be flying the flag for Team SA in the final of the women’s 1500m freestyle.


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