The South African swimming team got off to a great start when they claimed a gold and a bronze medal at the opening leg of the 32nd annual Mare Nostrum Series in Barcelona today on Saturday.

With a fast time of 23.98, veteran Roland Schoeman scooped the 50m butterfly title ahead of Rafael Munoz from Spain in second with 24.08 and Nikita Konovalov from Russia in third with 24.13.

Roland Schoeman won gold for South Africa.

It was bronze for Gerhard Zandberg in the 50m backstroke. Zandberg clocked a time of 25.50 behind Britain’s Liam Tancock (25.35) and Japan’s Junya Koga (25.19). Charl Crous finished in 7th position with 25.87.

Cameron van der Burgh just missed out on a medal in the 100m breaststroke when he finished 4th in 1:01.34. Christian Sprenger claimed the gold in 1:00.73, followed by Ryo Tateishi in 1:01.01 and Alexander Dale Oen in 1:01.06.

Cameron van der Burg will be after a medal in the 50 m Breastroke after a 4th place finish.

In other races, Kathryn Meaklim ended in 4th place in the 400m individual medley with a time of 4:49.29 while Michelle Weber finished 10th in the 800m freestyle with a time of 8:52.03.

Kathryn Meaklim has begun her build up to 2012 Olympic Games

In the 200m butterfly, Chad le Clos swam to a 4th position in 1:57.70.

The Barcelona leg concludes tomorrow, after which the South African swimming team will move to Canet  for the event on the 8th and 9th June, followed by the final leg of the Mare Nostrum series in Monaco on 11th and 12th June 2011.

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