Swim­mers slow out the blocks

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VILLIERS

SOUTH AFRICA’S cam­paign at the Fina World Cham­pi­onships in Bu­dapest got off to a shaky start with the na­tion miss­ing out on the semi­fi­nals and fi­nals on the open­ing day of the global show­piece.

Swim­ming leg­end Cameron van der Burgh caused a stir when he did not get onto the blocks for the 100m breast­stroke event.

The Lon­don 2012 gold medal­list in the 100m breast­stroke will in­stead set his sights on the 50m event later in the week.

Van der Burgh won sil­ver medals in both events at the pre­vi­ous cham­pi­onships two years ago in Kazan, Rus­sia, where he fin­ished be­hind world record-holder Adam Peaty of Great Bri­tain.

South Africa’s prob­lems were fur­ther com­pounded with Olympic 50m freestyle fi­nal­ist Brad Tandy not mak­ing the trip from his US base. Chad le Clos, Van der Burgh and Tandy were the only South African fi­nal­ists at last year’s Olympic Games.

South Africa is un­likely to im­prove on their five-medal haul from the 2015 cham­pi­onships with Le Clos only fo­cussing on the 100 and 200m but­ter­fly.

Three in­di­vid­ual swim­mers got to dip their toes in the wa­ter at the Al­fréd Ha­jós Na­tional Swim­ming Sta­dium.

Rio Olympian Doug Eras­mus fin­ished the eighth of nine heats in last place clock­ing 24.17 sec­onds in the 50m freestyle.

Brent Szur­doki missed out on his­fi­nal fin­ish­ing ninth in his 400m freestyle heat po­si­tion a time of three min­utes, 54.34 sec­onds (3:54.34).

Mak­ing her de­but at the world cham­pi­onships, Kate Beavon touched the wall in eighth place in the 400m freestyle heat in 4:20.82.

The men’s and women’s 4x100m freestyle re­lay teams also bat­tled in their re­spec­tive heats fail­ing to make it into the fi­nals.

The men’s team fin­ished seventh in their heat with post­ing a time of 3:17.41 with Myles Brown swim­ming an imp ressive leg of 48.71 while Zane Wad­dell’s clocked 49.07.

The women’s team con­sist­ing of four teenagers fin­ished their heat in last place with a time of 3:57.83, 22 be­hind win­ners Aus­tralia.

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