Van der Burgh to Test 200 Breaststroke Waters in 2014

South Africa’s 100m breaststroke Olympic Champion and World Record holder Cameron van der Burgh has decided to expand his repertoire from just the sprint breaststroke to both Olympic distances.

He discussed his quest in an interview on Thursday with South Africa’s Eye Witness News, saying that this year, he would begin going after the 200 breaststroke.

“Something that I’m also looking at in 2014 is the 200m,” he said to Eye Witness news. “I’m not making too many promises, but I’d like to give the 200m a go. Hopefully by the time 2016 comes, maybe I’ll be able to have myself a double chance of getting medals then.”

Van der Burgh doesn’t have much of a history in the 200 breaststroke, and with no South African results database it’s hard to definitively declare what his best time is. In the last few years, though, the results we were able to find include a 2:14.40 at the 2008 South African Championships; a 2:19 at the 2009 edition of the Mare Nostrum meet; a 2:17 at the 2011 edition of the Sette Colli Trophy; and his most recent swim which was a 2:14.15 at the 2012 edition of the Mare Nostrum. That 2:14.15 appears to be his best time in the race in long course.

The South African Record is a 2:09.6, set in 2009 by Neil Versfeld, and it took a 2:08.2 to medal at the 2012 Olympics, so van der Burgh would have some work to do to get to the level of which he speaks.

In recent years, there has been a significant overlap in the breaststroke races at the Olympics. Though in 2012, none of the three medalists between the 100 and 200 overlapped, at the 2000 (Domenico Fioravanti), 2004 (Kosuke Kitajima), and 2008 (Kosuke Kitajima) Olympics, the gold medals went to the same man.

Van der Burgh will be eligible to swim at both the Pan Pac Championships in Australia and the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in 2014.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

To be fair he wasn’t on Olympic-level taper at those meets, so just by taking the event more seriously at big meets he stands to drop up to a second or two.


Not if he is not allowed multiple dolphin kicks he will not. When this cheat retires I will be a happy man. Hopefully he gives up on 200m idea – less of him better. Every time he is mentioned as “Olympic Champion” that should be put in quotes.


Personally, I blame FINA, not vdBurgh or the 5 other swimmers in that heat who also cheated. In 2004, no one wanted to take away a gold medal for a minor infraction, and didn’t want to admit they had a rule they couldn’t enforce, so they said “OK, everyone can do one dolphin kick like Kitajima did”. Well, golly gee whiz… When you say “no kicks”, but can’t enforce it… People do one kick. When you say “one kick”, but can’t enforce it… People do three kicks. FINA has GOT to settle on a ruling that they can enforce (whatever that ruling is). Until then, no Olympic referee will stick his neck out to DQ a medalist, and all the… Read more »


Well said!


Well said!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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, …

Read More »