At the weekend’s Mare Nostrum in Barcelona, South Africa’s top swimmer Cameron van der Burgh illustrated why he is a serious medal prospect at next month’s London Olympic Games.
The swimming ace recorded the fourth-fastest time in the world this year in the men’s 100m breaststroke, setting a new championship record with his winning time of 59.73 seconds.
He was followed by Great Britain's Michael Jamieson in one minute, 01.17 seconds (1:01.17), with Felipe Lima of Brazil touching third in 1:01.38.
The 50m breaststroke world record holder also clinched the gold medal in the shorter breaststroke event in 27.77 seconds on Sunday, narrowly missing his own meet record of 27.56.
He was followed by Lima in 27.92 and South African compatriot Giulio Zorzi, in third place, with a time of 27.95.
Van der Burgh, competing for the first time since April, was awarded the trophy for Male Swimmer of the event.
South Africa's leading woman swimmer Karin Prinsloo bagged two silver medals at the Barcelona meet.
In the 100m backstroke, she posted a time of 1:01.02 to finish second behind Great Britain's Georgia Davies in 1:00.87.
Elena Gemo of Italy took the bronze medal in 1:01.18.
She swam a time of 2:11.73 in the 200m backstroke for her silver medal.
Canada's Sinead Russell posted the fastest time of 2:11.20, narrowly beating Prinsloo, with Barbara Jardin, also from Canada, taking third place in 2:12.56.
In the men's 1500m freestyle, South Africa's Devon Brown clinched the silver medal clocking 15:22.51 with France's Sebastien Rouault taking the spoils in a time of 15:17.91.
Jack Burnell of Great Britain took the bronze medal in 15:24.42.
Meanwhile, South Africa's Charl Crous finished second in the 100m backstroke, behind Australia's Ben Treffers, in a time of 55.56.
The Australian beat Crous by more than a second, in 54.46, with Miguel Rando Galvez of Spain taking third in 55.61.
The Mare Nostrum series now moves to Canet, France on June 6 and 7 where South Africa's leading swimmers will be in action again. – Sapa