SA swimmers on song in World Cup


23 October 2013


Three South Africans are in the top 10 of the overall rankings of the Fina Swimming World Cup after back-to-back events in Dubai and Doha, which ended on Monday, with Chad le Clos in first place.


The 21-year-old from Durban enjoys a convincing lead at the top of the standings, with 332 points to his name. Russia’s Vladimir Morozov is in second place with 240 points, followed by Kenneth To of Australia on 192.


South Africa’s Roland Schoeman occupies sixth place on the log with 147 points, followed by fellow South African Myles Brown, in seventh, on 105 points.


World Cup stops


Three more World Cup stops are scheduled – in Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing – and take place within the space of 10 days, starting on 5 November and finishing on 14 November.


Le Clos, who won gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly at the Fina World Championships in Barcelona in August, claimed another three gold medals in Dubai, but was pushed all the way by Thomas Shields of the USA in the 100m butterfly. In a very tight race, the South African star emerged victorious by just two-hundredths of a second in a time of 49.14 seconds.


He was dominant in the 200m butterfly, touching the wall in 1:49.07 after a blistering final 50 metres, to win by more than two second over Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski and finish only three-hundredths-of-a-second outside of the world record he set in Eindhoven in August.


Comfortable victory


In the 200m individual medley, Le Clos enjoyed a comfortable victory, even though he was down on Kenneth To after 150 metres. A typically fast finish, though, took the Olympic champion in the event to the title in 1:53.21, with To in second in 1:54.68.


Roland Schoeman, however, once more defeated Le Clos over the 50 metres distance, winning their butterfly showdown by the narrowest of margins, one- hundredth-of-a-second, in 22.27 seconds.


Schoeman, who remains one of the world’s top sprinters at the age of 33, won by almost a second in the 50m breaststroke, clocking 25.96 to second placed Hendrik Feldwehr’s 26.95.


Myles Brown appeared on the podium three times after second place finishes behind Robert Hurley in the 200m and 400m freestyle and third behind Gregorio Paltrinieri and Oussama Mellouli in the 1 500m.


A rare loss


In Doha, Le Clos suffered a rare loss to Thomas Shields in the 100m butterfly as the American set a United States record of 48.80 seconds, with Le Clos in second in 49.05.


The South African quickly bounced back to winning ways in the 200m individual medley, taking victory in 1:53.32. He also added another win in the 200m butterfly in a time of 1:50.39.


Schoeman again held the edge over his younger rival in the 50m butterfly, capturing the title in 22.30 to the 22.41 of Le Clos, who placed second again.


Schoeman also went unchallenged in the 50m breaststroke once more, finishing well clear of Florent Manadou 25.89 seconds.


He was edged out of a third title by Vladimir Morozov, who lifted the 50m freestyle crown in 21.03, with Schoeman second in 21.04.


South African record


Myles Brown smashed Ryk Neethling’s South African record for the 1 500 metres, clocking 14:36.19 to defeat Oussama Mellouli and Gregorio Paltrinieri, who had got the better of him in Dubai.


Brown was third in a very competitive 200m freestyle, only 11-hundredths-of-a- second behind the winner, Pawel Korzeniowski. and one-hundredth behind Robert Hurley.


He was also second to Hurley in the 400 metres, narrowly missing out on Ryk Neethling’s national record over the distance.