JOHANNESBURG - Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ryan Coetzee flew the South African flag after Chad le Clos was struck down by a bug on the first day of the Doha leg of the Fina Swimming World Cup.
The men’s 100m butterfly final was still a South African battle of sorts with Coetzee going toe-to-toe with American Michael Andrew, whose parents were born in raised here. After beating Le Clos to the wall at the Kazan leg over the weekend, Andrew managed to out-touch Coetzee in Doha.
Andrew had to sweat for his victory with Coetzee providing the pressure over the first lap turning on his heels. But the American managed to pull away touching first in a time of 51.83 seconds, with Coetzee bagging silver stopping just short of his personal best clocking 52.20 with Dutch swimmer Mathys Goosen finishing third with 52.99.
Le Clos announced on social media he had been battling with fever and nausea could not compete on Thursday but hoped he would be able to get in the pool and compete today.
Coetzee had a second bite of the cherry when he dipped his toe in the 50m freestyle final where he missed out on a podium finish. Russian swimmer Vladimir Morozov won the race in a time of 21.80 with Coetzee having to settle for seventh place in 22.84.
South Africa’s only female swimmer at the gala Carina Brand got onto the podium in the 200m butterfly final which featured only four swimmers. Brand would rub shoulders with Hungarian swimming royalty lining up against triple Olympic gold medallist Katinka Hosszu.
It was an all-Hungarian affair with Hosszu and compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos battling it out in front. Hosszu touched first clocking 2:09.26 with Jakabos finishing second in 2:10.34 with Brand bagging bronze in 2:35.58.
Hey guys I got a fever and vomiting all night, so wasn’t able to swim today, gutted not to able to compete but hopefully feel better tomorrow, good luck to rest of athletes 💪 thanks for support