By Mark Etheridge
Neither Cameron van der Burgh nor Ayrton Sweeney made it through the heats of the 200-metre breaststroke in Thursday morning action at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
The two South Africans were swimming in the same heat, the fourth of six heats at the Kazan Arena.
Already the owner of two silver medals from the 100 and 50-metre breaststroke events, Van der Burgh ended eighth with a time of 2min 12.37sec as the heat was won by Hungary’s Championship record holder Daniel Gyurta in 2:09.81, the fifth fastest qualifier for the semi-finals. Van der Burgh’s time was 21st quickest with only the first 16 going through.
Top of the pile was Marco Koch in 2:09.12
Sweeney, the new boy on the block in the five-strong team, ended 10th in the heat as his time of 2:14.98 put him 33rd fastest.
In his defence though, going into the championships with an elbow still in recovery mode after national championships, Sweeney had said that national coach Graham Hill was targeting a 2:15 from the youngster given the circumstances, so for him it would still be mission accomplished.
Even Adam Peaty, double gold medal-winner in the 50 and 100m versions of this stroke, struggled with his time of 2:13.24 only 26th best.