Defending champion Gerhard Zandberg smashed his own African record in ensuring his place in the semi-finals of the 50 metres backstroke, on a┬ámorning of fast times on the penultimate day of the 13th FINA World┬áChampionships in Rome.┬á
Zandberg clocked 24.68 secs – the seventh fastest time of the heats – which saw him dip well under his Africa best of 24.98 set at the World┬áChampionships in Melbourne two years ago.┬á
Brazilian Guilherme Guido posted the quickest time of the heats finishing in 24.49.┬á
“The world standard is incredibly high but I am ready for the challenge and I am pleased to have gone so far under my career best time,” said Zandberg, whose effort will allow him to go down in the sixth lane in his semi-final race.┬á
“I didn’t feel that strong going on to the blocks this morning, so I am┬ádelighted with my time. The semi-finals are going to be really fast and I┬áwill have to give it full throttle from the start. In 50 metres backstroke┬á
swimming, if you start slow, you race slow as there is no way back. You┬ácannot pace yourself over 50 metres or even think of holding some energy in the tank as reserve. The race is short and quick.”┬á
Durbanite Charl van Zyl finished 27th in a new career best time of 25.39.