South Africa’s Van der Burgh breaks 50-meter breaststroke world record
South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh broke the 50-meter breaststroke world record in Tuesday morning’s heats at the world swimming championships as his battle with the UK’s Adam Peaty resumed.
Van der Burgh, who is defending his title, clocked an official time of 26.62 seconds to shave 0.05 seconds off his own record he set at the 2009 championships in the era when the performanceenhancing neoprene suits were still permitted.
Peaty had swum exactly 26.62 seconds at the European championships in Berlin last August, but his time has still not been ratified by swimming’s governing body FINA.
Van der Burgh, the Olympic 100-meter champion, lost out to Peaty on the wall in Monday’s world championship final over the same distance.
The rivals are set to battle again over the shorter distance in Tuesday night’s semi and Wednesday’s final.
“I am really happy after the bitter-sweet disappointment of last night, when I didn’t get the luck of the touch. But I guess I had it today,” said Van der Burgh.
“We are all so close, it’s not going to be a one- or two-horse race, there are a lot of guys in the mix and it’s going to very tight.”
Peaty, who was second-fastest into the semifinals at just 0.06 seconds slower than the South African in his heat, admitted he was confused as to who held the world record after Van der Burgh matched his Berlin time.
“It will be nice to get out there tonight with my full game head on to focus on the race,” he said.
“I am fully capable of going faster than ... my old, well, equal world record.”
Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic (26.70) and Kevin Cordes of the U.S. (26.93) also posted fast times going into the semis.
Australia’s Christian Sprenger, who won silver in the event two years ago in Barcelona, missed the semis by just 0.03 seconds at 27.54.
This is the fifth time a world record has been broken in Kazan and it is the first men’s record to fall at a world championships since 2011.
Sun Sixth Fastest
is on course to win his first worlds gold for a decade having qualified fastest into Tuesday’s 200-meter butterfly semifinals in a time of 1 minute 53.71 seconds.
China’s long-distance expert Sun Yang was sixth fastest into the men’s 800-meter freestyle final on Wednesday as he prepares to try to win the men’s 200-meter final on Tuesday night for the first time.
Connor Jaeger of the U.S. was the fastest from the 800-meter heats in seven minutes 44.77 seconds while Australian teenager Mack Horton, who swam the year’s fastest time coming into Kazan, was fifth quickest at 2.31 seconds back.
After retaining his 400-meter freestyle world title on Sunday, Sun is hoping to leave Kazan as the owner of the 200-meter, 800-meter and 1500-meter golds.
South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh celebrates after setting a new world record in a men’s 50-meter breaststroke heat at the Swimming World Championships in Kazan, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 4.