8 October 2012
World record holder and Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh continued to lead the South African challenge at the second leg of the Fina Arena World Cup, winning both the 50m and 100m breaststroke titles at the Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha on the weekend.
Van der Burgh had to work hard for his first win, chasing down fellow South African, Roland Schoeman, to take victory in the 50 metres on the opening day in a fast time of 25.95 seconds.
Schoeman held on for second in 26.38, with South African-born New Zealander Glenn Snyders in third place. He was followed by Giulio Zorzi and Neil Versfeld as South Africa claimed four of the top five positions.
On day two, Van der Burgh kick started South Africa’s quest for medals once again by racing to victory in the 100m in 57.22 seconds. Snyders picked up second in 58.13, with Japan’s Daiya Seto finishing third in 58.60.
Darian Townsend showed off the fine form he had exhibited in the first World Cup meet in Dubai and improved with each race he contested. In his first event, the 100m freestyle, he was fifth in 47.58 seconds as Australia’s Kenneth To and Tommaso D’Orsogna shared gold in 47.10.
The Pietermaritzburg Seals’ star then picked up a bronze in the 100m individual medley, finishing behind To and Trinidad’s George Bovell.
On day two, Townsend improved to a silver medal in the 200m freestyle. Australian’s D’Orsogna took the win in 1:43.84, with Townsend clocking 1:43.95 and Robert Hurley 1:44.05.
He then completed the move to the top step of the podium by capturing gold in the 200 IM after a great battle with Olympic bronze medallist, Lazlo Cseh of Hungary.
There was less than half-a-second between the two men throughout the race, but Townsend’s faster freestyle finish made all the difference as he touched the wall in 1:53.75, just a tenth-of-a-second ahead of Cseh.
Chad le Clos
Chad le Clos was edged by Daiya Seto in the 200m butterfly, with the Japanese swimmer claiming victory by one-hundredth of a second in 1:51.30 after the Olympic champion had allowed him to build up too much of a lead in the first half of the race.
Le Clos was also third in the 50m butterfly, behind Roland Schoeman and Kenya’s Jason Dunford. Schoeman was away quickly out of the blocks and used his strong start as the foundation of his victory in a fast 22.43 seconds. Dunford clocked 22.87 and Le Clos 22.90.
Although he didn’t add to his gold and silver medals on the second day of competition, Schoeman, at the age of 32, remains a world class competitor.
He narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle by one-hundredth-of-a-second. Victory went to Anthony Ervin in 21.02, with George Bovell second in 21.06 and Kyle Richardson third in 21.54.
On the second day, Le Clos improved on the African 100m butterfly record he had set at the previous meeting, pulling away to take the win in an impressive 49.60 seconds, thanks to excellent underwater work.
Evgeny Korotyshkin, the 2010 World Short Course champion in the event, was well beaten, finishing second in 50.22, with third place going to the American, Thomas Shields, in 50.42.
Kathryn Meaklim picked up a bronze medal in the women’s 200m IM, finishing behind Katinka Hosszu and Zsuzsanna Jakabos of Hungary in 2:12.73. She also placed third in the 400 IM.
Neil Versfeld was fourth in the 200m breaststroke, three-tenths-of-a-second behind bronze medal winner Sean Mahoney. He also placed fifth in the 100m in 59.06 seconds.
Breaststroker Tara Nicholas improved on her performances in Dubai by finishing fifth in the 50m in 32.65, fifth in the 100m in 1:09.22 and sixth in the 200m in 2:34.34.
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