Cameron hungry for success
Cameron van der Burgh (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - A second place and a first place finish would be good enough for most swimmers - but not for ambitious world champion Cameron van der Burgh, as he looks to successfully defend his FINA/Arena World Cup title.
Van der Burgh finished second to veteran Roland Schoeman in the 50 metre breaststroke race in Durban just over two weeks ago, only to bounce back the following day when he romped to victory in the 100m.
That narrow loss to Schoeman could perhaps have been a bitter pill to swallow for the Pretoria-born swimming sensation - as he holds the world record in that event - but he prefers to use that result as an incentive.
"It's never nice to lose a race," admitted Van der Burgh in an interview on www.in-site.co.za, "but at the same time, maybe it not's a bad thing... for one thing, it has certainly made me even hungrier (to win).
"I guess the reality is that you cannot win every race you compete in and I'd rather be losing in the first weekend of the World Cup series than the last when the title is on the line.
"Funnily my time in that 50m race wasn't all that bad, but Roland swam an exceptional race and he deserved to win. (But) like I said before the event, I can only control how fast I swim, so from that point it was encouraging, although nobody likes to lose!"
The 21-year-old, however, showed great determination to fight back from his second place finish to secure first-place in the 100m breaststroke the next day.
He admitted: "That gave me great satisfaction. I guess there are different expectations whenever I take to the pool these days, but I was very happy to have bounced back so quickly and, of course, to secure some extra points in the World Cup race."
The World Cup circuit will once again get underway this weekend when Van der Burgh and co. take to the water in Moscow on Friday and Saturday. (Next week's competition will take place in Stockholm, then it moves to Berlin and, finally, it's off to Singapore on November 21-22, before he returns home on November 24.)
"There is actually quite a big team from South Africa that will be travelling to take part in these events," he enthused.
"Previously there were just four of us taking part in the overseas leg of the World Cup, but Sascoc have secured more funding and have thus sent more swimmers to compete.
"It's great, we're a happy bunch together and everyone is very supportive - something which made a huge difference during the world champs in Rome."
From a personal point of, Van der Burgh will also be able to call upon his overseas-based coach Norimasa Hirai whilst he competes abroad this month.
"It's a big bonus," said Cameron.
"He will be with me in Stockholm, Berlin and Singapore - the last three legs of the World Cup - and I'm really looking forward to catching up with him and, of course, learning from the man!
"I've not really done anything different to prepare for Moscow (after Durban)," he added. "I actually picked up a slight niggle in training, so I've not been going full out in the pool, but funnily enough I find I tend to compete better when things go wrong in the build-up to a race.
"I'm just excited to be competing again and I know I'll get into my rhythm soon enough. As I said, I know people have high expectations of me (at the moment), but that pressure does not affect me."Follow Cameron's progress:Facebook: