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Medals for SA trio

By Mark Etheridge

At least three of our top men’s swimmers were in action at the Salnikov Cup meeting in St Petersburg, Russia at the weekend.

Cameron van der Burgh, Darian Townsend and Gerhard Zandberg all lined up for the annual event and all were among the medals in the two-day event.

Pretoria based Van der Burgh took silver in the men’s 50-metre breaststroke clocking 26.89 seconds, just 0.02sec behind Russia’s Sergey Geibel but of the three South African’s Townsend was by far the busiest., swimming in four events.

Of these four races he ended with a full house of medals, gold, silver and bronze and also had a fourth-placed finish.

“It was a hugely successful meeting for me,” Townsend told Road to London 2012 this week. “I won the 100m Individual Medley (52.74) but my main event, the 200m IM unfortunately wasn’t in the programme which was a disappointment because I was feeling good and could have done a really good time as well as win the event.

“I came second in the 50m freestyle with a 21.93 [won by Russia’s Evgeny Lagunov, 21.74] and third in the 200m with a 1:43.38 [Russia’s Dainla Izotov won in 1:42.83] and then took fourth in the 100m free with a 47.68.

“I did a couple of best times in my events, that’s best times for the suits that we are now allowed to wear. I had a good time there and raced a lot so gained some more valuable experience. I’ve got a few days off now before we hit the water again just after Christmas. Then it’s all systems go in preparation for our Olympic trials in Durban (April),” concluded Townsend from London.

Zandberg ended second behind Townsend in the 100m IM (54.59) and then ended third in the 50m backstroke, which was won by American Randall Beal (23.59).

The SA trio were also all in action in this year’s FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China with Van der Burgh (2) and Zandberg picking up bronze medals.


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