SA swim trio shine in Dubai
Cape Town - SA swimmers Darian Townsend
, Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh have excelled on the second day of the FINA World Cup in Dubai.
According to the swimming world magazine website
, Townsend won two gold medals, while Le Clos won his second gold medal in two days by setting an African record when he won the 100m butterlfly. Van der Burgh won gold in the 100m breastroke.
Townsend won gold in the 200m freestyle (1:42.71) and followed that up with a 200 individual medley triumph, pushing his medal tally to three in Dubai after a bronze on Tuesday. He topped the medley in 1:53.25, while Japan's Daiya Seto turned in a second-place time of 1:53.90 for his third silver of the meet and fourth medal overall. Australia's Kenneth To tracked down his third medal of the meet with a third-place 1:54.86.
Townsend is on fire as his time would have ranked him fourth in the world last season. Seto bettered his time from a year ago of 1:54.65 from the Stockholm stop, while To nearly clipped his season-best last year of 1:54.38.
Le Clos snatched his second win of the meet with a blazing time of 49.82 in the men's 100 butterfly to set a new African record. Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin (50.67) and USA's Tom Shields (50.97) each earned their first podiums of the meet with second and third-place finishes, respectively.
Le Clos' sterling time would have put him second in the world last season behind only Konrad Czerniak's 49.62. His best time a year ago was a 50.63 at the Singapore stop on the World Cup circuit. He has now moved to 13th all time in the event's history, joining just 15 other swimmers to ever break 50 seconds. Incidentally, his time also broke Lyndon Ferns
' South African record of 50.19.
Van der Burgh touched out New Zealand's Glenn Snyders from outside in lane one with a 58.33 triumph. He won his second title of the meet en route to $3 000 in winnings thus far. Germany's Marco Koch completed the podium with a third-place time of 58.90, just edging South Africa's Neil Versfeld, who placed fourth in 58.91.
Van der Burgh is coming off a controversial victory at the 2012 London Olympic after which he admitted to using illegal dolphin kicks claiming that everyone else was doing it as well.