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BARCELONA, Spain, July 30. FOR the second day in a row, South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh has lowered the textile best in the men’s 50-meter breaststroke as he hunts the world record at the FINA World Championships.
A day after clocking a 26.83 split as part of his silver-winning 58.97 in the 100 breast, van der Burgh hit the wall in 26.78 this morning. Those are the two fastest times in textile, having both eclipsed the previous textile best of 26.87 from Felipe Silva last year in Rio. Overall, today’s time from van der Burgh is the fourth fastest ever, trailing a trio of times at the 2009 World Championships during the techsuit era (van der Burgh 26.67, 26.74; Silva 26.76).
Van der Burgh is looking for some redemption after taking bronze in 2011 following his world-title sprint in the 2009 edition. No one has won the sprint breaststroke title twice since its inception at the World Championship level in 2001.
Brazil’s Felipe Lima qualified second overall this morning with a 27.11, while New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders pocketed the third seed in 27.27.
Australia’s Christian Sprenger (27.30), Russia’s Kirill Strelnikov (27.36), South Africa’s Giulio Zorzi (27.37), Chian’s Gu Biaorong (27.38) and Brazil’s Joao Gomes Jr. (27.39) made up the rest of the top eight finishers heading into semis.
Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima (27.43), USA’s Kevin Steel (27.45), Poland’s Dawid Szulich (27.48), Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic (27.48), Italy’s Mattia Pesce (27.52), Ireland’s Barry Murphy (27.52), Sweden’s Johannes Skagius (27.57) and Finland’s Eetu Karvonen (27.58) earned the other transfer spots into the semifinal heats.