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SA’s five semi-finalists

It was a good morning’s outing for Team South Africa as they provided five semi-finalists on the sixth day of the Fina World Championships in Shanghai, China on Friday.

Olympic veteran Roland Schoeman and Gideon Louw both qualified for the men’s 50-metre freestyle semi-finals in the morning round of heats.

Louw ended fifth in the 16th and final heat but his time of 22.21 was still good enough to put him 11th fastest qualifier while Schoeman was sixth in the same heat with a time of 22.32 for the 15th of 16 qualifiers for the semis.

Qualifying heats saw a three-way tie for the fastest time with world recordholder and defending champion Brazil’s Cesar Filho Cielo, Nathan Adrian (US) and George Bovell of Trinidad all touching in 22.03, the last two in the same heat. A total of 117 competitors swam the morning heats in this event.

In the men’s 100m butterfly, Youth Olympics silver medallist Chad le Clos went through to the semi-finals after winning his heat with a time of 52.54sec. Top of the qualifying list was America’s Tyler McGill in 51.76. Le Clos was 13th quickest qualifier.

In the women’s 50m butterfly heats 16-year-old Pretoria swimmer Vanessa Mohr did her confidence the world of good by qualifying for the semi-finals. She ended sixth in Heat Seven but her time of 26.69sec saw her end 15th quickest of the 16 qualifiers. World recordholder Therese Alshammar of Sweden was quickest qualifier with her 25.68.

Our fifth qualifier was young Wendy Trott in the women’s 800m freestyle. The 21-year-old was the eighth and final qualifier after ending fourth in her heat (8:28.75). She pipped Chile’s Kristel Kobrich for the final qualifying berth by just 0.02sec. Britain’s Rebecca Adlington was the quickest of the heats with her 8:22.27.

Not so lucky was Leone Verster in the women’s 200m backstroke heats as despite ending third in her heat, her time of 2:16.45 was only 31st of the 39 qualifying competitors.

American Melissa Franklin was quickest of the heats with a 2:07.71 while Zimbabwe’s world recordholder, Kirsty Coventry was seventh quickest with a 2:09.03.

Also going no further were our men’s 4x200m freestyle relay squad whose time of 7:15.65 saw them end 12th fastest in the heats. Quickest of the quartet was Darian Townsend with a 1:47.98 effort, followed by Jean Basson (1:48.67), Jan Venter (1:49.85) and Sebastien Rousseau (1:49.15). America (7:08.84), Japan and France were the three quickest combinations.


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