Swimmers shine in Barcelona
Cameron van der Burgh (AFP)
Johannesburg - South Africa wrapped up a successful campaign at the second leg of the Mare Nostrum Series in Barcelona on Tuesday, with eight medals at the two-day gala.
On day one, the country’s top swimmers grabbed five medals with Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh, Roland Schoeman and Myles Brown clinching gold medals in their respective events.
Van der Burgh beat off a challenge from Brazil’s Felipe Lima to win the 100m breaststroke in a time of one minute, 00.38 seconds (1:00.38).
The Brazilian touched shortly after the South African, in 1:00.82, while Glenn Snyders finished third in 1:01.12.
On Tuesday, Van der Burgh added another gold medal to his tally, this time racing to victory in the 50m breaststroke in 27.59 seconds.
Dugonjic Damir of Slovenia finished second in 27.69 while Lima, silver medallist in the 100m, finished third in 27.93.
Backstroke specialist Gerhard Zanderg showed he was back to his best when he won the men’s 50m event in a time of 25.14sec.
Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer Faber finished second in 25.33, with Jonathan Kopelev of Israel grabbing the bronze medal in 25.47.
In the 50m butterfly, Roland Schoeman won an arm wrestle with compatriot and Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos in 23.30sec.
Le Clos had to be content with second place, posting a time of 23.90, with Russia’s Nikita Konavalov swimming a time of in 23.98 to take third place.
Schoeman carried the momentum through to the men’s 50m freestyle event, where he coasted to victory in 22.18sec.
Japan’s Shioura Sinri was second in 22.54, while Cuba’s Garcia Hamser finished third in 22.60.
Le Clos had an uncharacteristically bad day in the pool on Monday particularly in his signature event, the 200m butterfly.
He swam a slow time in his heat to finish ninth overall and miss out on a spot in the A-final.
Nevertheless, he coasted to the wall to win the B-final in a time of 1:57.02 which would have secured him a bronze.
Distance swimmer Myles Brown continued his rise in international swimming as he closed up the gala with two medals.
He won gold in the men’s 400m freestyle on the first day in 3:52.47, with Japan's Ayatsugu Hirai taking second place in 3:52.70.
Finland's Matias Koski touched the wall third in a time of 3:52.86.
On Tuesday, Brown clinched a bronze medal in the men’s 1,500m freestyle event as Ayatsugu turned the tables with a victory in a time of 15:01.81.
Russia’s Frolov Sergiy finished in second place in a time of 15:06.93, with Brown clocking 15:20.84.
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