Eight medals came the way of Team South Africa as the second leg of the popular Mare Nostrum swimming competition wrapped up in Barcelona on Wednesday, writes Mark Etheridge.
Barcelona is the venue for this year’s Fina world championships and Olympic 100m breaststroke gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh soon showed the way with gold in both the 100 and 50 events with times of 1min 00.38sec and 27.59sec respectively.
In the 100m he beat Brazil’s Felipe Lima into second (1:00.82) and pipped Slovenia’s Dugonjic Damir in the 50m (27.69).
Also getting two medals was rising star Myles Brown (he’s featured in the next issue of Road to Rio 2016 magazine early next month)with gold in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 1500m.
He won the 400 in 3:52.47, just beating Japanese rival Ayatsugu Hirai into second spot (3:52.70). But Hirai also tasted success as he won the 1500m free from Brown, touching in 15:01.81 with Brown third in 15:20.84.
Double Olympic medallist Chad le Clos also added a medal to the haul but wasn’t his customary self in his premier event, the 200m butterfly, missing out on the A final and having to be content with the B final victory in 1:57.02.
His medal came in the 50m butterfly where multiple Olympian Roland Schoeman pipped him to the wall in a Championship record 23.30. Le Clos clocks 23.90. Veteran Schoeman continued to make a mockery of his age when he also won the 50m free in 22.18sec.
The final medal came from another veteran, backstroke specialist Gerhard Zandberg who won his 50m dash in 25.14sec.
In women’s action, London Olympian Suzaan van Biljon is attempting to make the team for World Championships after missing SA Championships due to illness and was 10th quickest in the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:32.76, with Swimming SA’s qualifying criteria pegged at 2:27.88.
In the 100m she ended ninth in 1:09.97, just over a second outside the SSA qualification time of 1:08.63.
The final leg of the series will be hosted by Canet, France on Saturday and Sunday.