Cape Town — Erin Gallagher's star continues to rise at the 14th FINA World Swimming short course Championships in Hangzhou, China.
After reaching the final of the women's 100m freestyle on Wednesday, Gallagher was back in the pool for the heats of the 50m butterfly on Thursday.
Swimming in Lane 1 in Heat 6, Gallagher finished third in a time of 26.01, which, when all was said and done, was the 12th-fastest time among the 68 starters.
Dutch superstar Ranomi Kromowidjojo led the way with a time of 25.32.
With the top 16 swimmers qualifying for the semi-finals (13:46 SA time on Thursday), Gallagher has booked her spot among swimming's elite.
Elsewhere, Bradley Tandy did not start his men's 100m individual medley heat, electing instead to save himself for the 50m freestyle splash-and-dash.
His decision paid off as the 27-year-old qualified for the semi-finals with the 13th-fastest time, despite only finishing seventh in what was a stacked final heat.
Tandy's time of 21.38 was a full 0.76 behind rising American star Caeleb Dressel's blistering 20.62.
Doug Erasmus was less fortunate in the same event, with his 21.85 only good enough for 33rd overall.
Rebecca Meder finished with the 25th-quickest time in the heats for the women's 100m individual medley (1:01.93) some 3.88 seconds behind the fastest time set by Hungary's Katinka Hosszu (58.05).
Ayrton Sweeney had to be content with 24th-place in the heats for the men's 200m breaststroke (2:08.15), a full 6.51 behind the quickest qualifier, China's Haiyang Qin (2:01.64).
Disappointingly, once again South Africa failed to field a team for a relay heat, this time the Mixed 4x50m medley relay, where 47 countries were able to assemble a quartet, including swimming minnows such as the Maldives, Jordan, Benin and the Turks and Caicos Islands - among others.
From a South African perspective in this evening's finals in Hangzhou, Gallagher will contest the women's 100m freestyle at 13:08 (SA time), while Chad le Clos faces a mouth-watering showdown in the men's 100m butterfly with Dressel at 14:00.
South African team in Hangzhou:
Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh, Brad Tandy, Ryan Coetzee, Ayrton Sweeney, Douglas Erasmus
Erin Gallagher, Emily Visagie, Rebecca Meder