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SHANGHAI, China, July 27. WHILE Brazil's Felipe Silva and South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh teased a potential world-record effort by both clearing the textile best in semis, Silva settled for a world title in the men's 50 breast at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Silva, who had qualified second with a 26.95 during semis, claimed the gold medal with a 27.01 this evening. The win is the first for Brazil in the event's history, with Silva bettering his silver-medal performance in 2009. Silva joins Cesar Cielo and Ricardo Prado as the only Brazilian men to win world titles.
I'm very grateful that I won the gold medal today," Silva said. "I want to thank many people, especially my athletic trainer who helps me to improve gradually. To be a champion, one needs to overcome many troubles to claim the title."
Silva's win is not without controversy, as Swimming World has obtained footage of Silva using an illegal dolphin kick at the finish of the race. Click here for more on that issue, and a call for underwater video judging.
Italy's Fabio Scozzoli checked in with a silver-winning performance of 27.17, while van der Burgh faded to third with a 27.19 after setting the textile best with a 26.90 in semifinal action. The bronze gave van der Burgh his third consecutive medal in the event. He won in 2009 and finished with a bronze in 2007.
Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr (27.41), Norway's Alexander Dale Oen (27.43), USA's Mark Gangloff (27.58), The Netherlands' Lennart Stekelenburg (27.65) and Slovenia's Damir Dugonjic (28.00) completed the championship eight.