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SA’s World Champs swimmers bag three gold in Moscow

By Mark Etheridge

Myles Brown may have looked slightly off his game at the recent FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia but was still good for gold in Tuesday’s first of the eight-leg World Cup swimming series, also in Russia.
There were gold medals too in Moscow for World Championship gold and silver medallists Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh on the same evening.
In Kazan, KwaZulu-Natal swimmer Brown had failed to progress beyond the heats of the 400-metre freestyle, his 3min 48.86sec only good for 18th.
But a swim just 0.34sec quicker on Tuesday saw him exit the water and top the podium as France’s Jordan Pothain and Damien Joly took second and third in 3:49.66 and 3:50.55 respectively.
None of the World Championships finalists were in the World Cup final on Tuesday.
The World Cup event doubles as a qualifying event for next year’s Olympics and Brown’s swim saw him inside the 3:50.44 A qualifying time.
Earlier Le Clos had won gold in the 100m freestyle with a time of 48.16, also comfortably inside the Olympic A Qualification time of 49.99 after ending the morning’s 50m butterfly heats in 24.46sec for 12th spot. Trailing in his wake over the 100m freestyle distance were Russian’s Nikita Lobintsev (48.58) and Danila Izotov (48.59).
Van der Bergh, meanwhile, who won silver in both the 50 and 100m breaststroke events in Kazan, clocked 26.96sec for the 50m breaststroke gold. In Kazan he had set a world record 26.62sec in the heats before eventual gold medallist Adam Peaty raised the bar still higher with a 26.42sec swim in the semi-finals.
The meeting concludes on Wednesday with Van der Burgh in action over 100m, Le Clos is back to his favourite stroke, the 100m butterfly where he won gold in Kazan and Brown moves down to the 200m freestyle.
The next leg of the World Cup series will be in Chartres, France on Saturday and Sunday.