By Mark Etheridge
Cameron van der Burgh gave South Africans something to cheer about on Tuesday as he won his 50-metre breaststroke heat at the FINA world championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Van der Burgh touched in 26.54 seconds but his joy was short-lived, or rather overshadowed, as archrival Adam Peaty of Britain swam a world record 26.10sec in the very next heat, improving his own old mark by an amazing 0.32sec.
Van der Burgh had raised eyebrows on Monday by not swimming the 100m breaststroke heats and has now placed all his eggs in one basket.
Both he and Peaty blasted into Tuesday night’s semi-finals as first and second fastest in the heats.
Later in the morning, Chad le Close advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s 200m butterfly by ending third in the final heat.
The South African, 2012 Olympic gold medallist in that event, took third Meanwhile Myles Brown reached the 200m freestyle semi-finals on Monday but there remained little to cheer about for South Africa.
After coming through the heat comfortably enough, he was never in the top three of the semi-final and could only manage seventh in 1min 47.19sec.
Winner of the semi was Britain’s Duncan Scott in 1:46.28.
Other South Africans in Monday action were Kaylene Corbett (picured above) and Samantha Randle.
Swimming the 100m breaststroke, Port Elizabeth’s Corbett was 10th in her heat in 1:10.16 to be 31st overall in the event and 2.33sec off the slowest qualifying mark for the semi-finals.
Randle (in action above) was in 1500m freestyle action where she swam 17:22.42 to be third in heat one but only 21st fastest in the heat summary and not quick enough to progress.
Picture of Van der Burgh courtesy of Manuel Blondeau/Icon Sport and of Corbett and Randle courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA