SA's Brad Tandy books spot in swimming's blue riband event

Tandy, who is based in the United States, says he’s delighted with his race.

Swimmer Brad Tandy. Picture: Facebook.

RIO DE JANEIRO - South Africa's Brad Tandy produced an excellent performance to book himself a spot in swimming's blue riband event, the 50m freestyle.

He finished third in his semifinal in a time of 21.80, qualifying 8th fastest for the Olympic final. France's Florent Manaudou was fastest, just missing the Olympic record in 21.32.

Tandy, who's based in the United States, says he's delighted with his race.

"That was the best time for me, which is great because I didn't really expect that, I was just hoping to get whatever got me into the final and I'm through, number eight.

"I'll take it. I don't mind because I think I'd gone 0.4 slower I would have just missed it. So it's shows how close this 50m can be."

Tandy will be drawn in an outside lane but we have already seen Chad le Clos win silver from a similar position and Tandy is not fazed.

"It's been one or two outside smokers as we call them in the swimming world, so that's good to know and I saw these lanes aren't neglected so I'll be happy with that. I don't mind the outside lane because I've got less people on my side and I'm focusing on my own race."

Despite not being much of a chance as a medal hope, Tandy says it's a huge day for him personally.

"I feel like there was a little bit [of pressure] but honestly just being the underdog, no one really expects me to be anywhere to kind of get a spot.

"So I think that kind took it off a bit knowing that guys are watching me as the upcoming swimmer so that adds a little bit of pressure on my shoulders."

Tandy had another excellent start in his semifinal which he'll be looking to exploit in the final.

"I'm kind of known for my start because I try and use that to my advantage, obviously I've worked on that for years now. I knew that if I could get that aspect of my race down it will be a nicer drag race to the finish."

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