Cameron van der Burgh

Olympic Gold medalist and World record holder

Cameron was born in Pretoria on the 25th May 1988, went to Glenstantia Primary as a young boy and matriculated at Crawford college in 2006. He also studied Financial Management through UNISA.

He is Africa's first home-trained world record holder. He trains with Dirk Lange and is based in Pretoria. He has represented South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics and at the 2012 Summer Olympics where he won the gold medal at the 100 meter breaststroke in a new world record. He has won numerous World Championship medals since his debut in 2007 when he took a bronze medal. Twice he has won the FINA overall World Cup. In 2014 he won the 50m breastroke at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and a gold and a world record at the FINA World Championships in Kazan in 2015. He plans to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. 


Van der Burgh obtained his first world long-course record (27.06s) in the 50 m breaststroke, in the semifinals at South African nationals in April 2009. Cutting off 0.12 seconds of Oleg Lisogor's old world record set in 2002. He won the world title in the same year at the Rome championship, also in the 50 m breaststroke. He won the 50m breaststroke at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in a time of 27.18 seconds in a new games record and the 100m world title at the 2010 short course world championships. He won the 100m breaststroke gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in a new world record time of 58.46 seconds. After his 100m gold medal in London he admitted to cheating, by adding butterfly kicks while under water.

The 2012 Olympic website has this information about him:


Photography, golf, following Arsenal football club.




Finance - Pretoria University, Pretoria, RSA


Dirk Lange (GER)

Position and style

Breaststroke (


Withdrew from Swimming South Africa's 2008 Cape Town Grand Prix due to a groin strain.

Additional information

His coach, Dirk Lange, coaches the German national team as well, so he occasionally trains with them. As well as training in the pool he also does yoga, pilates and weight training in the gym.

Most memorable sporting achievement
When he first broke the world long-course record in the 50m breaststroke in 2009 and carrying the South African flag at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Superstitions / Rituals
"I find motivation in small things, like being able to learn new things, put them into training and also to learn lessons in life. Swimming is a great tool, it is the foundation to my future. I can put back into my future what swimming has given me, how it has moulded me into the person I am. I've been given an amazing swimming talent and I wouldn't want to waste it but want to refine it and get 100 per cent efficiency out of it." (, 27 Jul 2010)

Sporting philosophy / motto
"I enjoy strong competition as the more the guys push me, the faster I will go." (, 15 Feb 2008)

He was named 2011 Swimmer of the Year at the Telkom Swimming SA Annual Aquatic Awards in Johannesburg, 11 November. (, 12 Nov 2011)

Named as Swimming South Africa's Most Promising Male Athlete of the Year for 2007. (, 06 Oct 2007)

Previous Olympics

Beijing 2008

More in this category: « Gerhard Zandberg Chad Ho »