Van der Burgh picks up bronze
Cameron van der Burgh (File)
Shanghai - World record-holder Cameron van der Burgh secured his second bronze medal at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday.
The South African, who won bronze in the men's 100m breaststroke final on Tuesday, touched the wall in 27.19 seconds to finish third in defence of his 50m title.
Felipe Alves Franca da Silva of Brazil won in 27.01 and Fabio Scozzoli of Italy narrowly edged Van der Burgh to place second in 27.17.
"This happens sometimes in the 50m sprints," said Van der Burgh. "But I came here to get a medal in the 100m breaststroke as that is my main focus for the Olympics next year. I achieved that so I am satisfied."
Van der Burgh still leaves Shanghai the fastest man this year after his 26,90sec dash in the semi-finals.
Fellow South African Chad le Clos was fifth in the men's 200m butterfly final, clocking one minute, 55.07 seconds (1:55.07).
Le Clos started well, turning at halfway in third place, but faded over the last 100m and was passed by Chinese swimmers Peng Wu and Yu Chin.
American star Michael Phelps won in 1:53.34 to pick up his first gold medal of the championships.
National coach Graham Hill was satisfied with Le Clos's progress.
"I could not ask him for much more than that. He produced a personal best time on each swim to the final."
Former Olympic relay gold medallist Darian Townsend narrowly missed qualifying for the men's 200m individual medley final.
Townsend clocked 1:59.49 as the ninth fastest of the semi-finalists, finishing just 0.02 seconds behind Yuya Horihata of Japan, who secured the last qualifying place.
"My coach always told me that I must be at least third in the first semi-final, and that would have made it," said Townsend. "I did feel better than this morning although I am not 100% at the moment."
Gideon Louw and Graeme Moore were eliminated in the men's 100m freestyle semi-finals.
Louw was seventh in the first semi-final, clocking 48.96, and Moore finished eighth in the second race in 48.59.
James Magnusson of Australia was the fastest of the qualifiers, finishing in 47.90.
South Africa climbed four places to 20th on the medals table - tied with Hungary and Mexico - with Van der Burgh's two bronze medals.
The in-form Karin Prinsloo will take to the water for the women's 100m freestyle in the morning and another personal best will certainly be her aim.
Charl Crous and Darren Murray are set to compete in the men's 200m backstroke while Neil Versfeld will be hoping that he is untroubled by a backstrain when he tackles the men's 200m breaststroke.