The South African Aquatics Team has made the country proud at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, bringing home a total of five medals (two gold and three silver) and one African Record. First in the water on the opening day of the competition was Chad Ho, who claimed SA’s first gold medal in the 5 kilometres Open Water race with a time of 55:17.60. That amazing performance was followed by two silver medals from Chad le Clos and Cameron Van Der Burgh in the 200 metres butterfly and 100m breaststroke, respectively, while Van der Burgh added another silver a day later in the 50m breaststroke.
To end off his Championships campaign on a high note, Le Clos won the gold in the 100m butterfly with an African Record of 50.56. The men’s Water Polo team also produced one of the highlights of the competition as they made World Championships history, finishing in 12th place out of the 16 competing teams, a first for a South African side. At the final day of the 16th FINA World Championships on Sunday, Sebastien Rousseau finished 21st in the heats session of the 400m individual medley, clocking 4:20.16.
Swimming South Africa’s CEO, Shaun Adriaanse congratulated all the winners and participants for their outstanding performances and display of great talent during the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan. Adriaanse says: ‘We have seen an overall improved performance across the board from our Synchronised swimmers, Divers, Water Polo teams, Open Water swimmers and swimmers. We have managed to equal the number of medals we achieved from the 2013 World Championships, with five medals in total and improved with having two gold and three silver medals as compared to two gold, two silver and one bronze from the 2013 Championships. The standout performances came from our swimmers with the Gold Medal Performances from Chad Ho and Chad Le Clos and silvers from Le Clos and Cameron Van Der Burgh. What is important for us now is that we have a clear picture of what needs to be done in the last stretch to Rio. We would be remiss if we do not congratulate the City of Kazan, the Republic of Tatarstan and the Federal Republic of Russia for organising a well-run and smooth event. This was hands down the best organised World Championship we have ever attended. Well done Kazan!’
National head coach, Graham Hill says: ‘I want to reiterate what I said before the start of this event, that this is going to be a Championship of upsets and it is going to be an interesting eleven months leading up to Rio.’ There will be no rest for Le Clos, Van Der Burgh and Myles Brown, as they now move to the first leg of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup which will be held in Moscow on 11 and 12th of August 2015.
Photo credit: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA