Barcelona - South African swimmers Roland Schoeman, Chad le Clos and Karin Prinsloo qualified for the semi-finals of their events at the 15th FINA world championships in Barcelona on Friday.
Veteran Schoeman, 33, tied with 100m freestyle champion James Magnussen of Australia, for the 11th-fastest time in the men's 50m freestyle heats.
Schoeman first medalled in the event at the worlds in Fukuoka in 2001 and won in 2005. He qualified for Friday night's semi-finals in the Palau Sant Jordi pool in 22.04 seconds.
"My goal is to make the final and then I'll take it from there," he said.
"This is a very strange meet as time right now is inconsequential. Like with Giulio (Zorzi), you make a final you have a shot at a medal."
Olympic champion Florent Manaudou qualified first, followed by world record holder Cesar Cielo from Brazil and Ukraine's Andrii Govorov.
Le Clos, who won the 200m butterfly gold on Wednesday, was the second-fastest qualifier for Friday's 100m butterfly semi-final with a time of 51.88 seconds.
"It is going to be a close race with a lot of guys going for the gold so I'm excited," Le Clos said.
"Personally, I like the idea that (Ryan) Lochte is swimming as it brings a lot of excitement to the race.
"Back home I think everyone is happy and proud of us so, hopefully, it can generate a bit more funding for the sport."
Prinsloo, who finished 11th overall, will aim to make the 200m backstroke her fourth national record in Friday night's semi-final. She currently holds the 100 and 200m freestyle and the 100m backstroke records.
"The 200m backstroke record is the only record that I don't have yet," she said.
There was disappointment for Trudi Maree in the women's 50m butterfly as her time of 27.40 was far off the pace. She said that her preparations for the swim had not been good.
Also failing to advance to the semi-finals was 800m freestyle swimmer Kyna Pereira.
The teenager, who also swam in the open water competition, finished in 8:54.10.