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BARCELONA, Spain, July 30. SHORTLY after undercutting the textile best in the men’s 50-meter breaststroke for the second time this morning, South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh eased off the pace just a smidgen to top the semifinal heats tonight at the FINA World Championships.
This morning, van der Burgh clocked a 26.78 as he cleared the textile best for the second time this week. Originally, he posted a 26.83 split in his 100 before posting the fourth-fastest time ever with his prelim swim. Tonight, he checked in with a 26.81 for the top seed, which still stands as the fifth fastest time ever. After taking third in 2011, van der Burgh is hoping to reclaim his 2009 crown.
Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic raced his way to second with a scorching time of 26.83, now tied for the sixth-fastest time of all time as well as matching Hendrik Feldwehr’s 2009 FINA World Championship time as the European record. Brazil’s Joao Gomes Jr. wound up taking third heading into finals with a 27.05.
Australia’s Christian Sprenger (27.10), Sweden’s Johannes Skagius (27.16), New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders (27.22), Italy’s Mattia Pesce (27.42) and South Africa’s Giulio Zorzi (27.44) picked up the rest of the championship finale spots.