The country’s top swimmers gave the national team a boost on Tuesday, as Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos coasted into the semifinals on the third day of competition at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.
Van der Burgh broke his own South African record to finish second fastest in the 50m breaststroke heats in 26.54 seconds.
A five-time medallist in the sprint event, the former world champion clipped 0.06 off his national mark which was set at the previous edition of the biennial showpiece in Kazan.
British swimmer Adam Peaty, the favourite for the title, touched the wall in 26.10 to smash his own world best.
Five swimmers set national records in the heats, setting up an enticing battle in the semifinals, to be held in the evening session.
Meanwhile, Chad le Clos finished third in his heat in 1:55.90, qualifying fifth fastest for the penultimate round of the men’s 200m butterfly.
Defending champion Laszlo Cseh of Hungary was quickest in the heats, covering the four-lap race in 1:54.08.