Swimmers slow out the blocks
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.