2017 Worlds Day 1 Africa Roundup: Van der Burgh Scratches 100 Breast

2017 FINA WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS – Day 1 Africa Recap

Arguably the biggest storyline from the continent of Africa on day 1 of the FINA World Championships was one that didn’t happen: Olympic champ Cameron van der Burgh elected to scratch the 100 breaststroke prior to heats, taking out what was very likely the continent’s biggest medal threat of the first two days.

Van der Burgh was the 2012 Olympic champ and 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the 100 breast, and was once the most dominant breaststroker on the planet. He’s been supplanted in that role by Great Britain’s Adam Peaty, but was still very much a potential medalist in Budapest. The 29-year-old van der Burgh hasn’t had a great year in the 100, only going 59.73 at South Africa’s national meet in April.

That leaves van der Burgh pretty much all-in on the 50 breast, which takes place Tuesday and Wednesday. He’s currently ranked #5 in the world this season in that event, and just over a tenth out of second:

2016-2017 LCM Men 50 Breast

AdamGBR
PEATY
07/25
25.95*WR
2Joao
GOMES
BRA26.5207/26
3Cameron
VAN DER BURGH
RSA26.5407/25
4Felipe
LIMA
BRA26.6807/25
5Kevin
CORDES
USA26.8007/26
View Top 26»

While van der Burgh was the most notable absence, probably the best swim of the day came from Egypt’s 4×100 free relay on the men’s side. Ali Khalafalla, Mohamed Samy, Youssef Abdalla and Mohamed Khaled combined to smash their national record by two seconds, taking 15th out of 20 teams. Though relay entries are much lighter this year, Egypt is starting to hone in on the top 12, which typically earns Olympic relay berths in the World Championships directly prior to an Olympic year. That should make the field a lot deeper and more serious in 2019, but Egypt is starting to make a push in that direction, rising to become the kind of solid swimming roster that no nation in Africa outside of South Africa can currently boast.

National Record Index

Though we can’t say for certain that we caught every record (and though many nations don’t have well-maintained databases of their official national records), here’s a look at all the national records we found in day 1’s prelims and finals sessions. If you find one we missed, let us know and we’ll work to verify it.

  • Elodie Poo-Cheong, Mauritius – women’s 100 fly – 1:03.68
  • Marwan el-Kamash, Egypt – men’s 400 free – 3:46.36
  • Igor Mogne, Mozambique – men’s 400 free – 3:55.97
  • Mathieu Marquet, Mauritius – men’s 400 free – 4:07.28
  • Talita Te Flan, Ivory Coast – women’s 400 free – 4:26.72
  • Sebastien Kouma, Mali – men’s 100 breast – 1:05.03
  • Khalafalla/Samy/Abdalla/Khaled, Egypt – men’s 4×100 free relay – 3:18.23

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crooked donald

Somehow I doubt this is the biggest story line on the continent of Africa today.

Rush!

Serbia smashed their national record, taking 9th place in 4×100 free with 3:15.64.

Team Lithuania

You realize Serbia is in Europe, right?

crooked donald

I can see it from my house.

Rush!

Ups, didn’t realize it was Africa only article… sorry. I’ll wait for another chance to be a smart ass 🙂

Steve Schaffer

While the Egyptian relay was VERY good, I think Marwan Elkamash’s 9th is place and Egyptian Record in the 400 Free was even more impressive.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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