USN | Cameron vd Burgh

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BIOGRAPHY

Cameron van der Burgh is a South African breaststroke sprint specialist and multi-time Olympian. He has won numerous World Championship titles, is a world record holder in the 50-meter breaststroke, and also won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

 

My first real success in swimming came in 2007 when I qualified for my first World Championships and picked up a bronze medal. By 2009 I was well on my way to a World Record at the South African Nationals. I broke the World Record in the semi-final of the 50-meter breaststroke, shaving some time off of a seven-year old record. In the same year I won the world title in the event in Rome, winning my first gold medal from a World Championships.

 

I then qualified for the Beijing Olympics just moments after being recognized on the international scene for the first time. In Beijing I advanced to the semi-finals of the 100-meter breast, but failed to qualify for the championship final after finishing 5th in my heat. I also competed on the 4×100-meter medley relay, where we finished 7th overall.

 

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, I took gold in the 50-meter breast in a new Commonwealth Games Record. Later in the year I swam at the 2010 Short Course World Championships, this time taking another world title in the 100-meter breast. At the 2011 South African National Championships, I took gold in the 50-meter breast setting the world’s leading time. 

 

After racking up a few medals in international and national competitions, I was prepared going into London. With the super suit era behind me, I raced to gold in the 100-meter breast after taking out the first 50 meters in a blazing split, and broke the World Record in the process. 

 

In 2013 I competed in the World Championships as the current World Record holder, but was just a half second off of my best time set in London. I touched the wall in 2nd place after to Christian Sprenger.  A few nights later I rebounded to out-touch Sprenger for gold in the 50.

 

As just one of five swimmers that South Africa sent to the 2015 World Championships, I was lined up to swim my two signature events. In the preliminary heats of the 50-meter breast I did quite well when I swam under the World Record time by just a few hundredths of a second. Although I broke the Record in the preliminaries, I couldn’t crack the time in the semi’s or finals, losing out to GBR’s up-and-comer Adam Peaty. In the 100-meter event I was up once again against Peaty. We approached the race with pretty different styles — I took the race out in a nearly World Record 50-meter pace and Peaty took out the race nearly half of a second behind. I couldn’t hold on the last 50 meters as Peaty had a strong finish, pushing me to 2nd by just .07 seconds.

 

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, in the 100 meter breaststroke, I was again pitted against heavy favorite, Adam Peaty. At the halfway point, I turned in second behind Peaty. Over the final stretch, it was a battle for second with Peaty a body length ahead for the gold. I held on to take the silver in 58.69.

My Achievements

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2nd

Olympic Games Silver

2016

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1st

Olympic World Record Holder

2012

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1st

Olympic Games Gold

2012

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1st

Olympic Games Gold

2010

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1st

Commonwealth Games 50m Breast Stroke

2010

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1st

50m Breaststroke World Record Holder

2008

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