Every South African a Swimmer

Cameron van der Burgh announces retirement

Cameron van der Burgh announces retirement
Johannesburg, Thursday, 13th December 2018 - Cameron van der Burgh, one of South Africa’s greatest swimming stars has announced his retirement from international competitions after winning the 100m breaststroke at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Hangzhou, China on Wednesday.

The London 2012 Olympic champion draws the curtain on an illustrious career and bows out as one of the greatest male breaststroke swimmers in the world.

“It means the world to me. It is my last race, so I am extremely happy. The world championship means a lot,” Van der Burgh said.

 “It is the last one. It is sad but I am happy to end on a high. The last 25 metres was the most pain I have ever had in my life in swimming, so it was a good way to finish.

 “It is funny how these things turn out. At least I have no loose ends to tie up or reason to come back.”

Van der Burgh boasts the Olympic 100m breaststroke title and Rio Olympics silver medal, as well as a total of 10 world long-course medals including two gold, and seven world short-course medals.

He holds the world short-course records for both the 50 and 100m breaststroke in 25.25 and 55.61, which he set in Berlin in 2009.

The Pretoria-born swimmer made his senior debut at the 2007 Melbourne World Long-Course Championships at the age of 19 where he won the 50m breaststroke bronze medal.

The 30-year-old made his Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games and won his first major title at the 2009 Rome World Championships, the 50m breaststroke gold.

He set his first world record at the South African National Championships in 2009, clocking 27.06 in the 50m breaststroke.

The South African swimming icon won his Olympic 100m breaststroke title in style, setting a new world record when he smashed into the wall in a time of 58.46, chopping 0.12secs off the previous mark.

Four years later Van der Burgh further confirmed his class when he stepped onto the podium at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, finishing second behind British world record-holder Adam Peaty, who clocked a new global mark of 57.13.

Van der Burgh followed in second place with a time of 58.68, just 0.22secs off his personal best.

He bowed out of his final Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast of Australia beating Peaty for his third consecutive 50m breaststroke title. Since making his debut at the Delhi 2010 Games, Van der Burgh won a total of six individual medals including four gold.

“I did make a commitment two years ago after the Olympics to transition from swimming and look forward to my next career and start to plan where I go,” Van der Burgh said.

Swimming SA’s CEO, Shaun Adriaanse said South African swimming owed Van der Burgh a debt of gratitude for inspiring the nation with his heroics in the pool throughout his career.

“Cameron van der Burgh is the epitome of a true South African sporting hero and has served his country with aplomb as a world-class swimmer and ambassador outside the pool,” Adriaanse said.

“We wish Cameron the best in his next endeavour and believe his legacy would inspire generations to come.”


For further information please contact:

Swimming South Africa

011 404 2480

Swimming South Africa is the governing body of aquatics in South Africa.

Its objective is to encourage the practice of aquatic disciplines for all in South Africa with the purpose of promoting swimming as a life skill through Learn To Swim programmes; providing healthy exercise to South Africans of all ages and races; recruiting recreational swimmers to compete in the various competitions; and promoting competition and athlete development to the highest level. Swimming South Africa is kindly supported by SASCOC, National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Arena, Sport & Recreation SA and Rand Water.