London - South African swimmer Gideon Louw has booked his place into the men's 100m freestyle semi-finals at the 2012 London Olympic Games in a time of 48.29 while his fellow compatriot Graeme Moore missed the cut in his heat on Tuesday.
Nathan Adrian of the US qualified
fastest in the 100m freestyle preliminaries at the London Olympics, topping a tightly bunched field that included three ties.
won his heat in 48.19 seconds while swimming in a lane next to
world-record holder Cesar Cielo of Brazil. Cielo, the 2008 bronze
medalist, tied for 10th with Konrad Czerniak of Poland in 48.67.
time was well off his world mark of 46.91 set at the 2009 world
championships during the peak of the high-tech body suit craze. Those
suits have since been banned.
"It felt a little heavy, actually,"
he said. "But hopefully tonight I'm going to bring some heat and I'll
swim better to make the final."
Louw of South Africa was second-quickest in 48.29, followed by Sebastiaan Verschuren of the Netherlands at 48.37.
champion James "The Missile" Magnussen of Australia advanced in fourth
at 48.38. No other swimmer in a textile suit has gone faster than the
47.10 he posted at his country's trials in March.
opening leg of the 4x100 freestyle relay on Sunday raised some doubt
about whether he can add the Olympic title to his world championship.
The Aussies were favored but slipped to fourth.
"I took a fair
hit in the relay. I am still trying to bounce back from it," he said.
"It hurt my pride as much as anything else. A lot of my competitors have
never seen me lose."
Adrian swam the leadoff leg for the
Americans in 47.89, going out faster than Magnussen to give the US an
early lead. The US settled for silver after Ryan Lochte was caught on
the final lap by Yannick Agnel of France.
"It wasn't that I was
nervous. I just got too worked up over it," Magnussen said. "I just need
to stay relaxed and be confident. They probably think they can beat me,
but I am going to fight for this one."
Cielo wasn't ready to write off the Aussie.
was one mistake. You can't put those guys out of contention," he said.
"I think James is still one of the favorites. I would put him and Agnel
down as hands-down the favorites."
Agnel tied James Roberts of
Australia for 12th in 48.93. American Cullen Jones advanced to the
16-man evening semi-finals in ninth at 48.61.
The other tie was for sixth between Brett Fraser of the Cayman Islands and Pieter Timmers of Belgium at 48.54.