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World title for Cameron

Cameron van der Burgh bagged South Africa’s first gold medal on the second day of the 10th Fina World Short Course Championships in Dubai┬á when he won the 100m breaststroke in a championship record.

The Pretoria-based swimmer led from the start  and touched the wall in a time of 56.80 seconds, not too far from his world record time of 55.61 which he swam in Berlin in 2009. Fabio Scozzoli from Italy was second in 57.13 followed by Felipe Siva from Brazil in 57.39.

ÔÇ£It was a great race. I knew I had to take it one race at a time. After I did not have the fastest time in the semi-final the pressure was off and that is great. So this evening I could just focus on tonight’s race,ÔÇØ said a smiling Van der Burgh.

Van der Burgh will now be focusing on the 50m breaststroke which he will swim on Saturday alongside team-mate Roland Schoeman.

Schoeman finished 15th in the semi-final of the 50m freestyle, of which he is the world record holder in a time of 20.30. His time was 21.57, almost a second slower than Brazilian Cesar Cielo, who was fastest in 20.61.

ÔÇ£I have a chest infection so I did not feel great during the race. I have been on antibiotics since Sunday, so I am hoping the rest of the championships will go better. I had the pectoral muscle injury before the meet and now the infection. It has just not been that great for me.”

Chad le Clos continued his good form when he qualified for the final in the 400m individual medley and got to swim against the big guns in this event.

The KZN swimmer showed he is a force to be reckoned with when he finished the first leg, the 100m butterfly, in first place. But the strong field soon caught up in the backstroke and breaststroke. Le Clos fought his way back in the 100 freestyle to finish in 4:03.74.

Ryan Lochte went on to win the event in a new world record time of 3 minutes 55.50 seconds. He broke Hungarian L├íszi├│ Cseh’s old record that he achieved in 2009. Cseh finished in 6th place in 4:04.93, just behind Le Clos who finished 5th.

ÔÇ£It has been great to swim in a final after I achieving 16th and 17th place at the World Championships in Rome last year. I really wanted to beat the Hungarian swimmer (L├íszi├│ Cseh) and I did,ÔÇØ he said with a big smile.

Leone Vorster got her first World Championships started with a 28th place in 55.08 in the 100 freestyle, which is a warm-up for her favourite event the 200m freestyle.

Chanelle van Wyk and Mandy Loots failed to qualify for the semi-final of the 50 butterfly. Van Wyk finished 21st in 26.75 and Loots 25th in 26.99.

Loots later swam the 100 individual medley where she finished in 1:02.98 (21st) and Kathryn Meaklim 36th in 1:03.19.