Olympic Gold Medalist Cameron van der Burgh Announces Retirement


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South African breaststroker Cameron van der Burgh has announced his retirement from competitive swimming on Wednesday, after winning the World Short Course Championship in the men’s 100m breaststroke.

In his post-race press conference, the World Record holder said that this will be the last meet of his career (he still has the 50 breaststroke to swim). That wasn’t swayed by the fact that he broke the Championship Record as the last elite 100 breaststroke of his career.

Van der Burgh had announced previously that he would retire after the 2020 Olympic Games, but after getting married in July and accepting a new job at Andurand Capital Management, a large oil-focused hedge fund based in London, he has decided that now is time. Another Olympic champion, Clement Lefert, has worked at the same company for 5 years.

Van der Burgh took an Olympic silver medal in the 100 breaststroke in Rio in 2016 and a gold medal in the same event in 2012, though controversially he’d admit after London that he knowingly took extra dolphin kicks on his pullouts in violation of the rules.

He’s also the World Record holder in both the 50 and 100 short course meters breaststrokes, and previously held both records in long course before Brit Adam Peaty broke them.

Van der Burgh enters the 50 breaststroke on Thursday as just the 19th seed, but after winning the 100 breast becomes a favorite to land on the podium (although he’ll face some extreme 50m specialists like Fabio Scozzoli of Italy and Felipe Lima of Brazil).

In commemoration of his retirement, FINA has put together a highlight real of all 16 of van der Burgh’s World Championship medal races

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2 years ago

What a great way to go out. He’s had an amazing career. Indv. Olympic gold + World Records — truly nothing more to prove.

2 years ago

What a lad. Best way to retire when you’ve just won a World Championship. I didn’t like the multiple fly kicks at the time but it’s fair to say everyone was doing it and it probably cost Van Der Burgh the silver in Shanghai the year before that he didn’t do it. Kitajima was also partial to breaking this particular rule and no-one holds it against him.

I would note that the swimmers seem to be doing multiple fly kicks less often even though it is almost never punished. Possibly because of cameras but I think also because when Peaty is racing cheating and getting smashed anyway isn’t a good look.

Anyway good luck to Mr Van Der Burgh he… Read more »

Reply to  Tim
2 years ago

Lol, the Lance Armstrong defense

Reply to  Swimexit
2 years ago

I agree Swimexit. It’s not like there’s a substantial advantage to 2 dolphins other than 1. Honestly in breaststroke there’s so much room for improvement everywhere, there’s no need to cheat. Just get BETTER. If Peaty can go 57.1 and everyone else is cheating to go 58 high, 59 low, it’s not that they’re worse at breaststroke. And Peaty isn’t the first muscular breaststroker ever. It’s that everyone else is swimming the stroke wrong. #hothothottake

Leisurely Swim
2 years ago

A little early considering he’s still got another medal to go in the 50 breast

2 years ago

It’s too bad South Africa never could put together a medal-winning Medley Relay at a World Championships or Olympics (apparently they did at the Commonwealth Games) before he retired! They’ve had some pretty great athletes to complement Cameron and Le Clos over the years, but they never could put it together on the big stage. Anyway, congratulations on a great career!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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