More gold for Townsend
Johannesburg - South Africa's Darian Townsend completed his Swimming World Cup with a five-medal haul that included two golds at the final leg of the 8-leg circuit that ended in Singapore on Sunday.
Townsend opted to challenge in the men's 400m individual medley on the opening day between the 100m freestyle and 100m IM. He started the day with his usual third place in the 100m freestyle in a consistent 47,53sec before tackling the longer individual medley where he managed to edge ahead of Travis Mahoney to take his first gold in this event by 0,51sec in 4:09, 24. A few events later the three-time Olympian took another bronze medal in a solid 53,32sec in the 100m IM.
The second day saw Townsend come close to snatching the 200m freestyle. He clocked the same time, 1:43,50 as in Tokyo, but was just 0,10sec short of catching Cameron MacEvoy from Australia to take the silver medal. But a few events later the versatile Townsend raced to his second gold medal in the 200m IM where he edged out Yukiy Shirai by 0,79sec, to take the title in 1:54,16.
A few other new faces got among the medals in Singapore. Jessica Pengelly showed she is in good form for the World Short Course Championships that Townsend has been forced to miss.
Pengelly opened on the first day with a third place in the women's 800m freestyle where she challenged strongly and recorded an encouraging 8:22,81, behind 14-year-old Australian Alanna Bowles who took the silver in 8:22,70 and the consistent Hungarian in Katinka Hosszu who won in 8:21,94.
Later Pengelly clocked a 2:13,69 in the 200m IM for 6th place and then on the second day took a close 4th place in the 400m IM with an excellent 4:33,63 to miss that bronze by just 0,08sec.
But it was the 400m freestyle where Pengelly once again excelled as she chased Britain's Angie Bainbridge and Mellisa Ingram (New Zealand) to bag her second bronze medal. Bainbridge finished stronger to clock 4:04,01 with Ingram next in 4:04,14 while Pengelly touched in a satisfying 4:06,08.
Mark Randall showed he still has plenty of swimming in him when he clocked the fastest time by a South African recently in the men's 1500m freestyle.
After lying almost four seconds off eventual winner Horton MacKenzie (Australia) at the 800m mark, Randall closed the gap to 1,55sec to clock an excellent 14:55,80.
Randall also tackled the 400m freestyle on the first day to clock a solid 3:47,89 for 6th place while veteran Mandy Loots featured in the finals of the 100m butterfly where she took 5th spot in 1:00,02 and then went one better in the 200m butterfly to touch in 2:10,31 on the second day.