15 October 2013
A break of almost two months between events did little to slow down the performances of South Africa’s top swimmers as they excelled at the Fina World Cup in Moscow over the weekend.
On the opening day, Olympic 200 metres butterfly champion Chad le Clos continued to show he is the successor to the great Michael Phelps in the American’s favourite event by winning it in 1:49.83. He finished well clear of second-placed Tom Shields of the USA, who was just over two seconds behind the South African star.
Le Clos also picked up a silver medal in the 50 metres butterfly, but victory still went to South Africa as Roland Schoeman blasted his way to the win in 22.36 seconds.
Schoeman, now 33, but aiming for a place at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, added another victory in the 50 metres breaststroke, touching the wall in 25.83 seconds, with Croatia’s Sasa Gerbec way back in second place in 27.09.
Myles Brown continued to enhance his reputation by claiming a convincing win in the 400 metres freestyle in 3:41.79.
He claimed his second title on day two of the event, holding off Brazil’s Lucas Da Cruz Kanieski to win the 1 500 metres freestyle by just over a second in 14:43.52.
Brown also tried his hand over a shorter distance in the 200 metres, but had to settle for third, just behind Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski and Robert Hurley of Australia.
Le Clos ruled the 100 metres butterfly, clocking 49.34 to relegate Tom Shields to second again.
He also added the 200 metres individual medley crown to his list of successes, finishing well clear of Australia’s Kenneth To in a time of 1:53.04.
The 21-year-old Durbanite is top of the men’s overall World Cup rankings on 128 points. Russian sprint star Vladimir Morozov is in second place with 87 points, followed by Hungarian breaststroke ace Daniel Gyurta with 84 points. Fourth place belongs to Roland Schoeman on 57 points. Myles Brown is on 24 points.
Le Clos previously won the overall World Cup title in 2011. Fellow Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh took the honours in 2008 and 2009, while Ryk Neethling, another Olympic champion, ruled the roost in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons.
Schoeman, who was part of the 4 by 100 metres freestyle relay squad with Neethling that won Olympic gold in 2004, was runner-up to Van der Burgh in 2009 Fina World Cup.
The Fina World Cup moves to the Middle East next, with Dubai hosting a meeting place on 17 and 18 October, followed by Doha on 20 and 21 October.