Versfeld into FINA semis | SASCOC - SASCOC

Versfeld into FINA semis

Thursday’s morning heats of the fifth day of the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China saw two personal bests and another Team South Africa swimmer in the form of Neil Versfeld advance into the semi-finals.

The third of three South Africans in morning heat action, Versfeld was swimming the men’s 200m breaststroke. The Georgia based swimmer was cautious in his initial 100 metres as he swam off the pace of USA’s Eric Shanteau to finish third in the eighth and final heat and take the 11th spot overall in 2:12.54 to book his spot in the semi-finals. Fastest of the qualifiers was Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis in 2:10.33.

Earlier, Karin Prinsloo continued her fine form at the Championships with a personal best in the 100-metre freestyle. The talented Tuks student won Heat Six in a fast 55.57sec, improving on her previous best time of 55.97. Despite not going through to the semi-finals the 21-year-old finished 26th of 77 swimmers in the heats and is closing in on the national record of 55.17 set by Lize-Mari Retief at the Beijing Olympics.

Fastest in the heats was Netherlands Femke Heemskerk in 53.75sec.

Then it was the turn for young Darren Murray to give his best in the men’s 200m backstroke. The 20-year-old was all smiles after finishing second in the first heat in a personal best 1:58.73 ÔÇô closing over a second on the final 50m on Columbian Omar Pinzon who had touched in 1:58:48 to take the 16th position and final place in the semi-finals.

Murray ended in 18th, just 0.25sec away from an automatic qualifying spot and was happy with his performance. ÔÇ£My previous best was in Rome in 2009 with the faster suit, so I am very happy.” America’s Clary Scott was quickest qualifier in 1:56.32.

Apart from Versfeld who will swim in the semi-finals on Thursday’s evening session Darian Townsend is a reserve in the final of the men’s 200 individual medley while Murray is second reserve in the 200m backstroke semi-finals.

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