Cape Town - There was further misery for the South African swimming team in the heats on Day 4 at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea.
Team SA has endured a torrid time in the pool at the Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Centre in Gwangju to date with only Chad le Clos and Tatjana Schoenmaker contesting finals, let alone semi-finals.
Schoenmaker finished sixth in the women's 100m breaststroke on Tuesday, with Le Clos due to contest the men's 200m butterfly final at 13:47 SA time on Wednesday.
Disappointingly for SA fans, Le Clos scratched from the men's 100m freestyle heats on Wednesday. It was the second event South Africa's star swimmer had failed to contest after pulling out of the 50m butterfly earlier in the week.
With the 200m butterfly in mind, Le Clos is no doubt saving himself for a full crack at the gold medal.
Le Clos enters that race with the fifth-fastest time and will have his work cut out for him to topple the favourite, Hungarian teenager Kristof Milak.
At the time of writing, Le Clos, who is rumoured to be struggling with a groin injury, is still scheduled to compete in the 100m butterfly heats on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Team SA members that did partake on Wednesday continued the disappointing trend.
Swimming in the heats of the men's 200 IM, Eben Vorster recorded the 30th-fastest time (2:05.69), a full 7.90 seconds behind overall leader, Laszlo Cseh of Hungary (1:57.79).
In the women's 200m butterfly, Dune Coetzee posted the 20th-quickest time (2:11.92), but still trailed American Hali Flickinger (2:05.96) by 5.96 seconds.
In the seldom raced 4x100m Mixed Medley, the SA quartet of Chris Reid, Schoenmaker, Ryan Coetzee and Erin Gallagher set a new African record (3:49.90), but still finished a distant 15th overall as the top 8, led by the USA's 'B' team (3:41.23) reached the final.