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Van der Burgh into final

2013-07-29 09:06
Cameron van der Burgh (AFP)

Barcelona - South Africa had an evening of mixed fortunes on the opening day of the swimming competition at the Fina World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday.

Cameron van der Burgh qualified for the final of the men's 100m breaststroke and distance swimmer Myles Brown finished sixth in a strong field in the 400m freestyle race, but there was disappointment for veteran sprinter Roland Schoeman.

The three-time Olympic medalist had the fastest time going into the semi-final, but then failed to go through as one of the eighth fastest.

Brown finished in three minutes, 48.40 seconds (3:48.40), just shy of his new personal best of 3.47.17 set in the morning heats. Olympic Champion Sun Yang of China won gold, while Japan's Konsuke Hagino and Conor Jaeger of the United States took silver and bronze respectively.

Brown said he was pleased with his performance.

"It was a great swim at my first world championships and the vibe was awesome with a great crowd," he said.

He also took it as a learning experience in the build-up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

"I know what is needed now and what I can expect. I had hoped to go a bit faster though."

Olympic champion and world record holder Van der Burgh made it into Monday's100m breaststroke final. His time of 59.78 seconds was tied second fastest among the qualifiers.

The 25-year-old said he felt fine, despite not being in top form.

"I only started training in January and I had a long holiday, but I think I showed enough and I will put my energy into the final," Van der Burgh said.

Christian Sprenger of Australia topped the qualifiers, while American Kevin Cordes equaled Van der Burgh's time.

Schoeman, 33, crashed out in the men's 50m butterfly semi-finals as he missed the final by 0.09 seconds after finishing ninth.

"I do not know what happened," he said. "I felt better than this morning, but it happens."

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