Johannesburg - Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh made a strong
statement in the heats of the men’s 100m breaststroke at the Fina World Championships in Kazan, Russia on Sunday morning.
Van der Burgh was in sizzling form in his heat where his time was just short
of his personal best and previous world record of 58.46 seconds, a time he swam at
the London Olympic Games.
The 27-year-old touched the wall in 58.59 to send his detractors a
clear message that he should not be written-off.
His strongest challenger and world-record holder Adam Peaty of Britain
stormed to a Championship Record in the next heat with a time of 58.52.
Following his successes at the 2012 London Olympics where he clinched the
men’s 100m breaststroke title in a world-record time of 58.46 the
Pretoria swimmer went through a bit of a slump.
Although he finished on the podium at both the Long and Short-course championships
since the Games, he surrendered his two long-course world records in the 50m
and 100m breaststroke.
Peaty then became the first man to break through the 58-second barrier to
slash 0.54 seconds off Van der Burgh’s 100m breaststroke record earlier this
Van der Burgh was upbeat about his form going into the championships and
believed he had rekindled his appetite for competitive swimming.
“In preparation for next year I want to do some good times here especially
after the last year where I had a bit of a rocky year, I feel confident,
motivated and excited to get out there,” Van der Burgh told Sport24 on
“It is the first time in a long time that I am really excited to race, I’ve
just been counting the days down, so we are finally day zero and I am ready for
Fellow London Olympics gold medallist Chad le Clos started his campaign for
a golden sweep in the butterfly events on a positive note qualifying for the
men’s 50m butterfly semi-finals.
Le Clos finished his race in fourth place with the eighth fastest time of
the heats clocking 23.45 to advance to Sunday evening's semis.
Earlier freestyle specialist Myles Brown had to get close his South African
record time to qualify for the evening’s final of the men’s 400m freestyle.
Brown started out strong but faded towards the final laps finishing his heat
in seventh place with a time of 3:48.86 missing out on a final berth.