DURBAN, South Africa, December 5. ROLAND Schoeman became the holder of four South African records and claimed three medals while Ryk Neethling collected two silvers to stand out in the face of strong international competition on day one of the FINA Swimming World Cup, sponsored by Telkom, at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre on Friday.
Schoeman entrenched himself as South African swimming’s sprint champion when he took gold in the 100-metre freestyle, silver in the 50-metre breaststroke and silver in the 50-metre backstroke on a night when South African swimmers claimed eight medals.
His time of 26.99 seconds in the 50 breaststroke gave him his fourth South African record behind the 50-metre freestyle, 50-metre backstroke and 50-metre butterfly.
His winning 100-metre freestyle time of 47.70 seconds also ranks him second in the world in this event.
"Finishing a close second behind the world record holder in the 50-metre breaststroke is great," Schoeman said of his performance against Ukrainian World Cup record and world record holder Oleg Lisogor.
"Earlier in the evening Ryk Neethling said to me, ‘Let’s show these foreigners how to do it’. It was just great out there, knowing it’s your people in the stands."
Neethling was also more than satisfied with his two silver medals in the 100 and 400 metre freestyle.
"Two second place finishes was more than I expected coming into this event," he said. "It’s hard to go from the 400, which takes a lot out of you, to the 100, which is a completely different race. But I’m happy with the times and it gives me a lot of confidence for the future."
Neethling put his and Schoeman’s performances into perspective when he said, "The best sprinters in the world were here."
Veteran American Chad Carvin collected the first gold medal of the evening when he took first place in the 400-metre freestyle with a time of 3:42.91, beating his old University of Arizona training partner Neethling.
Slovakia's Martina Moravcova was a predictable winner in the women's 50-metre butterfly and the 100-metre freestyle. She took gold in the 50 with a time of 26.53 seconds and gold in the 100 with a time of 54.26.
"I'm happy with the wins," Moravcova said. "The times are okay for this point of the season. This is my first meet since the World Championships in Barcelona, so I'm just getting a feel for it again."
South Africa’s Melissa Corfe took gold in the 200 metre backstroke for women with a time of 2:10.50, with Charlene Wittstock third. Tamaryn Laubscher took bronze in the 400-metre Individual Medley for women and Marizanne Grundlingh was third in the 800-metre freestyle for women
Results of the finals on day one of the FINA Swimming World Cup, sponsored by Telkom, held at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre on Friday:
400m freestyle men
1. Chad Carvin (USA) 3:42.91
2. Ryk Neethling (RSA) 3:43.79
3. Dragos Coman (ROM) 3:43.92.
50m butterfly women
1. Martina Moravcova (SVK) 26.53
2. Ilona Hlavackova (CZE) 27.32
3. Haley Cope (USA) 27.41.
200m butterfly men
1. Wu Peng (CHN) 1:56.09
2. Moss Burmester (NZL) 1:56.32
3. Lucas Salatta (BRA) 1:56.59.
100m breastroke women
1. Staciana Stitts (USA) 1:07.63
2. Nan Luo (CHN) 1:08.81
3. Ashley Roby (USA) 1:09.36.
50m breaststroke men
1. Oleg Lisogor (UKR) 26.97
2. Roland Schoeman (RSA) 26.99
3. Eduardo Fischer (BRA) 27.63.
100m freestyle women
1. Martina Moravcova (SVK) 54.26
2. Xu Yanwei (CHN) 55.13
3. Camelia Potec (ROM) 55.57.
100m freestyle men
1. Roland Schoeman (RSA) 47.70
2. Ryk Neethling (RSA) 47.83
3. Jose Meolans (ARG) 48.55.
400m individual medley women
1. Zhang Tianyi (CHN) 4:38.19
2. Georgina Bardach (ARG) 4:43.17
3. Tamaryn Laubscher (RSA) 4:45.23.
100m individual medley men
1. Oleg Lisogor (UKR) 55.09
2. Stefan Herbst (GER) 55.12
3. Thiago Pereira (BRA) 55.41.
200m backstroke women
1. Melissa Corfe (RSA) 2:10.50
2. Da-Hye Lee (KOR) 2:11.07
3. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 2:11.13.
50m backstroke men
1. Steffen Driesen (GER) 24.66
2. Roland Schoeman (RSA) 24.85
3. Bartosz Kizierowski (POL) 25.14.
800m freestyle women
1. Chen Hua (CHN) 8:29.41
2. Camelia Potec (ROM) 8:29.87
3. Marizanne Grundlingh (RSA) 8:42.72.
(Courtesy of SuperSwimmer, www.swimsa.co.az)