Sweet revenge for Van der Burgh, rare defeat for series champ Le Clos
CAMERON VAN DER BURGH dished out some payback to worldrecord holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain in the men’s 50m breaststroke on the first day of the final leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup in Dubai yesterday.
The Olympic gold medallist remains unbeaten in the 50m breaststroke in the series while it was the first time he managed to get the upper- hand over Peaty since conceding his title at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia earlier this year.
Peaty has been Van der Burgh’s nemesis since toppling the South African in the 100m breaststroke at last year’s Commonwealth Games and breaking his longcourse world records over both distances.
Van der Burgh posted a blistering 26.77 seconds which was 0.15 seconds slower than the personal best he set at this year’s World Championships.
The Briton touched in a time of 27.16 with Van der Burgh’s training partner Giulio Zorzi bagging the bronze with a time of 27.45.
The Pretoria- based swimmer will finish the Swimming World Cup as the overall series winner for the third time after he won back-to-back series titles in 2008 and 2009.
While Van der Burgh sizzled, defending series champion and compatriot Chad le Clos suffered a rare defeat in his pet event, the 200m butterfly, and had to be content with the silver medal.
Le Clos characteristically left it late and with a lap left he looked set to miss out on a podium spot, but surged towards the end for second place clocking 1:56.03.
Denmark’s Viktor Bromer outtouched Le Clos by the narrowest of margins posting a winning time of 1:55.98 with Wen Quah of Singapore finishing third with 1:56.26.
Earlier, Le Clos picked up the silver medal in the 100m freestyle with a time of 48.38 with France’s Jeremy Stravius hitting the wall 0.04 seconds ahead of the South African.
Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic bagged the bronze medal with a time of 48.86 while Le Clos’ compatriots Douglas Erasmus and Caydon Muller shared seventh place touching in 49.78.
The 23- year- old Le Clos persisted and finally won the gold medal in the butterfly sprint event posting a time of 23.31 in the 50m event.
Giles Smith of the United States followed in second place with 23.67 with Serbia’s Ivan Lender finishing in third place clocking 23.74.
Le Clos, who is in heavy training ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, won four gold medals at the Doha leg earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Michael Meyer also added to the South African contingent’s medal tally claiming the bronze medal in the men’s 400m individual medley in a time of 4:18.58.
Hungary’s David Verraszto finished first in 4:16.71 with Keita Sunama of Japan grabbing the silver with 4:17.58
Ayrton Sweeney, Joshua Dannhauser and Le Clos’ younger brother Jordan finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.