FINA World Championships

SA trio lap up the World Championships experience

2017-07-28 09:19
Kaylene Corbett (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - After the medal-winning highs of Wednesday, South Africa's swimmers got back down to the hard yards at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday morning.

According to the SASCOC website, three swimmers were in action for the rainbow nation, while Ayrton Sweeney pulled out from the men's 200m breaststroke heats.

First off was young Erin Gallagher in the women's 100m freestyle heats.

Going off in lane five she was first at the turn and went on to win in 1:55.46 seconds from Iceland's Bryndis Hansen (1:56.11).

But that wasn't enough to see the 2014 Commonwealth Games swimmer progressing, as her time was only 24th quickest on the day

The Durban teenager told SASCOC, "I'm really, really happy with my 100 free, considering that six months ago I could only train 500m, due to a shoulder injury. So just being here, for me, is something I never thought I'd be able to do, so I think I would've been proud of myself, no matter the outcome.

"The team here is very very young and despite a lot of negative press, I personally, think that the team has done exceptionally well and I'm so proud of every one of them.

"This meet has only inspired me to keep going, and it reminded me that anything is possible. I wouldn't change this experience for anything in the world, and I'm so grateful I got to be a part of something so influential in swimming."

Sadly, there were no early birthday celebrations for Martin Binedell, who turns 22 on Sunday.

He ended 22nd fastest of the heats, as American Ryan Murphy went quickest in 1:56.11. Slowest qualifying time through to the next stage was 1:58.34.

"I'm happy with my race," said Binedell. "I was a little disappointed after the relay, although I swam a PB, because a bad turn cost me a really good time.

"Now I'm really excited for things to come, I'm training harder than I've ever trained and am really enjoying my swimming. I'm absolutely loving the experience of being here and couldn’t ask for better teammates," said the Pinetown-based swimmer, who competes out of national coach Graham Hill's squad.

Next up for Binedell is the men's 4×100 medley relay on Sunday.

Third SA swimmer in action was Port Elizabeth's Kaylene Corbett in the 200m breaststroke.

Corbett went in heat three of four and took eighth spot in 2:31.36. Winner was Molly Renshaw of Britain in 2:24.03, which was also the quickest into the semi-final.

Corbett was 23rd fastest and would have had to go 2:28.59 or quicker to seal a semi-final slot.

"I'm a bit disappointed with the 100 that I swam on day two, but I think my 200 was an improvement, only being a second off my PB," said Corbett.

"The type of pressure that is put on you at a event like this is insane, since you don't want to let anyone down. I don't think most people understand how stressful it is being up against the best and still being a young team.

"The overall experience has been so incredible and I've learned so much. I truly believe this team is going to grow and all of us have such big dreams. I can't explain the feeling being here and the honour I feel."

Corbett has one of the more congested schedules in the SA team, with still the 50m breaststroke on Satuday and 4x100m medley relay on Sunday to go.

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