31 July 2012

‘Killa Cam’ wins gold

On Sunday Cameron van der Burgh won the Olympic gold medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke in record-breaking time.

Swimmer, Cameron van der Burgh Cameron van der Burgh shows his gold Olympic medal.

If there is such a thing as a perfect race, I think I swam it at the right time tonight.
- Cameron van der Burgh, Olympic gold medallist.

Cameron van der Burgh won a gold medal, South Africa’s 1st Olympic medal, at the 2012 London Olympics in the 100-metre breaststroke event at London’s Aquatic Centre on Sunday 29 July. The 24-year-old not only won the gold for South Africa, but also beat an existing Olympic world record in the time of 58.4 seconds.

He is known as ‘Killa Cam’ by his friends, and is no doubt set to become 1 of South Africa’s legendary sporting heroes. In just 24 hours, the social media platforms across South Africa have exploded with messages of congratulations for the swimmer, and politicians, celebrities and sporting personalities have added their voices in congratulating Van der Burgh on his achievement.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was quick to congratulate the swimmer, saying, ‘We are now counted among the best in the world’.

The city of Tshwane, where van der Burgh resides, was also quick to congratulate their home-boy. Many South Africans have pointed out that although Van der Burgh had many opportunities to train and live abroad, he chose South Africa as his base.

Local sports media have had a field day, quick to report on the good news at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

‘It’s a feeling I can’t describe right now, it has been a lot of work in the making. Everything has paid off tonight,’ Van der Burgh told reporters after his win.

‘If there is such a thing as a perfect race, I think I swam it at the right time tonight’, Van der Burgh added.

He attributed his Olympic win to friend and fellow competitor, Alexander Dale Oen, who died of heart failure while at a training camp earlier this year. ‘I just have to pay tribute to Alexander Oen tonight, I know he has been with me this year… I think he helped me finish the race in such a strong manner,’ Van der Burgh said.

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