Other Sport

Swimming worth the investment

2013-08-06 16:30
Cameron van der Burgh and Giulio Zorzi (Getty Images)

Johannesburg - Swimming world champion Cameron van der Burgh believes South Africa’s performances at the Fina World Championships in Barcelona last week was enough to prove themselves worthy of corporate sponsorship.

"We do perform and bring it to the table, like we brought ammunition after the Olympics,” Van der Burgh at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday.

"Maybe for a lot of corporates, they thought we were a flash in the pan, but we’ve proved to them that we can deliver - time and time again - and swimming is a worthy investment.

"It is now up to the administrators now to put in the hard work and secure the sponsorship."

The South African team did better than ever before in terms of gold medals - winning three - and the last time they collected a five-medal haul was in Melbourne in 2005.

Van der Burgh returned with a gold medal in the 50m breaststroke and a silver in the 100m breaststroke, while swimming partner Giulio Zorzi grabbed bronze in the 50m breaststroke.

Olympic medallist Chad le Clos emerged as the golden boy of South African swimming finishing first in the 100m and 200m butterfly events.

The 25-year-old Van der Burgh’s performance was particularly impressive given that he had taken a six-month break after the 2012 London Olympics and had been hampered by injuries in the build-up to the world championships.

While Van der Burgh narrowly lost to Australian Christian Sprenger in his Olympic event, the Pretoria-based swimmer said he was more than happy with his performance in the 100m breaststroke.

"I am pretty surprised by the times we were swimming.

"It’s very close to my world record, which is more important.

"Sometimes, you look at the times instead of the placings," he said.

"So my time is standing me in good stead for the next three years, looking towards Rio in 2016, and I am a lot more motivated than I was a few months ago."

Van der Burgh said his performances at the world championships had given him a new lease on his career after the "high" he had experienced in London a year ago.

"There is such a thing as post-Olympic depression and you sit back and you don’t know what is going to happen next," Van der Burgh said.

"You’ve achieved all the goals that you set, done all the world records and won all the gold medals.

"But, after these championships, I have found the motivation I needed."

To add to the occasion of winning gold at the championships, Van der Burgh’s long-time friend and swimming partner Zorzi joined him on the podium for the 50m breaststroke.

"It is one of the most special moments in my career -- to stand there (on the podium) with your best mate, locking arms to sing the national anthem.

"It was almost like winning the Olympic gold medal again.

"It brought back some memories."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Caster Semenya has been nominated for the 2018 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award. Which of the nominees deserves the award most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.