Johannesburg - Cameron van
der Burgh believes it will require a world record swim to successfully defend
his 50m breaststroke title in the final of the Fina World Championship in Kazan, Russia on Wednesday.
The world record changed
hands twice between Van der Burgh and Britain’s Adam Peaty as they continued
their arm-wrestle for world breaststroke dominance.
“I am pleased to be in the
final. It is going to be a really tough race between Adam Peaty and myself,”
Van der Burgh said.
“It will definitely take a
new world record to win the gold medal but I am still pleased from the morning
going into the final.”
Van der Burgh highlighted
his sensational form by improving his 50m breaststroke world record by 0.05 with a time of 26.62 during the morning heats before winning his
semi-final in the evening with a time of 26.74
It was a case of whatever
you do, I can do better as Peaty responded with a sizzling 26.42 swim to take
0.2 off Van der Burgh’s record in his semi-final in the evening.
The first round went Peaty
on Tuesday when he dashed Van der Burgh’s dream of finally getting his hands on
the 100m breaststroke after Australia’s Christian Sprenger denied him two years
This time around the
Briton cruelly touched 0.07 ahead of the South African after Van der
Burgh led the race for 95 metres.
Peaty hit the wall in a
time of 58.52 with Van der Burgh finishing in second place clocking 58.59 while
Britain’s Ross Murdoch bagged the bronze in 59.09.
Meanwhile, Chad le Clos
finished a topsy-turvy day on a high when he turned in a dominating performance
in his 200m butterfly semi-final with a winning time of 1:54.50 from an outside
Le Clos looked sluggish in
the morning where he finished his heat in fourth place with a time of 1:56.92
scraping through with the 14th best time.
The 23-year-old said he
would have to swim a personal best time to defend his title after Hungary’s
Laszlo Cseh produced a world-leading time of 1:53.53 in his semi-final.
“The 200m fly was nice and
comfortable through to the final, I have a really hard race coming up with
Laszlo, who is a good friend,” Le Clos said.
“I think I am going to
need a personal best (1:52.96), I think a 1:52 to win, it is going to be
extremely difficult but I think I can get the win done.”
Rousseau, who finished seventh in his semi-final missing out on a final berth
in the 200m butterfly, said he would now turn his attention to the 400m
“Obviously wanted to make
the final but it just wasn’t there so I just need to rest up and get ready for
the 400m IM and do what I can to make it to the final,” Rousseau said.
Le Clos also featured in
the 200m freestyle final where he touched in sixth place clocking 1:46.53 with
Great Britain's James Guy winning the gold medal in 1:45.14 ahead of China's
Sun Yang and Germany's Paul Biedermann.
“I am obviously
disappointed not to get up there. Before I came to this meet I said I wanted to
be top five in the 200m freestyle to give me a chance to win next year and I
was sixth which is okay,” he said.
“Tomorrow night is very
important to me and also the 100m fly, so it is going to be really close and I
hope to get my hand on the wall first.”
Freestyle specialist Myles
Brown once again tasted disappointment missing out on a final in his third
Brown could not get past
the heats in the 800m freestyle after crashing out in the semi-finals of the
200m and 400m freestyle events earlier in the championships.
The South African swimmers
will have a break from morning swimming with only Le Clos and Van der Burgh
featuring in their respective finals on Wednesday evening.