FINA World Championships

SA wait for finals after no progress in Budapest heats

2017-07-26 13:14
Cameron van der Burgh (AP)

Cape Town - There was little joy for South African swimmers in Wednesday's morning heats at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

According to the SASCOC website, neither Zane Waddell nor Ayrton Sweeney were able to make it through to the next round of the 100m freestyle and 200m IM, respectively.

Waddell ended 10th - and last - in his heat.

The United States-based swimmer, a product of Grey College, was off in the 10th of 12 heats and clocked a time of 49.99 seconds.

The heat was won by Ukraine's Sergii Shevtsov in 48.60, meaning the former Free Stater finished 2.39 seconds back.

His time (around 0.9 seconds off his best to date) meant 19-year-old Waddell ended as 46th fastest of the 113 finishers in the heats.

Slowest qualifying time of the 16 men into the semi-finals was the 48.80 swum by Serbia's Velimir Stjepanovic, meaning Waddell would've had to have gone 1.19 seconds quicker to secure his spot.

"Yes, I'm a little unhappy with the swim but it's my first World Championships so I'm just getting the experience and growing as a swimmer," said Waddell.

"I had a little bit of nerves man, but otherwise just the thought of going up against the best in the world can put you on edge. I've got the 50m freestyle which I am mainly focusing on because I qualified for that initially, so I'm really excited for that.

"The 50m freestyle was my main focus during my preparation for the Championships."

The 50m freestyle was the event in which Waddell won gold at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa.

Sweeney was off in lane 8 in his 200m IM heat and ended ninth of 10 entrants with a time of 2:04.18, not good enough to make the top 16 to go through to the semi-finals.

His time was 32nd of the 44 to take part with slowest qualifier, Italy's Federico Turrini, swimming 2:00.23.

In the team stakes South Africa also had representation in the mixed 4x100m relay.

Martin Binedell, Kaylene Corbett, Clayton Jimmie and Erin Gallagher did duty and returned a combined time of 3:57.02 for sixth place in their heat.

That time was good enough for a new African record, but not nearly fast enough to progress through to the final.

Despite seven non-starters and two disqualifications, South Africa finished 14th out of the 22 countries to legitimately complete the event.

The USA quartet smashed the world record, posting a time of 3:40.28.

South Africa will be looking to make their first impact on the medals table on Wednesday night with Chad le Clos in the 200m butterfly final (18:01 SA time) and Cameron van der Burgh competing in the 50m breaststroke final (18:17 SA time).


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