Van der Burgh to Test 200 Breaststroke Waters in 2014

  8 Braden Keith | January 16th, 2014 | Africa, International, News, Rio 2016 Olympic Games

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.

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  1. weirdo says:

    I have this from Cameron before. I say it lasts a month or two before he vacates that idea!

  2. Tea says:

    #1 – Regarding this picture – holy crap, I’m pretty sure those guns are outlawed in many countries!
    Most Olympic swimmers are jacked, but do NOT have big biceps. Look at Magnussen, Manaudou, Adrian, Grevers, Bousquet, and a lot of the other ridiculously “built” superstars. Enormous, but by comparison their biceps are… average. This picture makes it obvious how breaststroke relies more on upper-arm mass than the other strokes. Bicep/tricep mass is relatively useless for the other three “full arm” strokes that get all the power from the end of the lever (or even damaging due to more drag).

    #2 – I thought that vdBurgh had a fast 200 BR in SCM from the world cup tour in 08 or 09. But I haven’t been able to find the results either. (For an American) it seems odd that he hasn’t even TRIED the 200 breast recently… here, even sprinters like Gangloff swim the 200 br from time to time.

  3. aswimfan says:

    Well said!

  4. Easyspeed says:

    Well said!!

  5. Easyspred says:

    Well said!

  6. mcgillrocks says:

    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.

    • PsychoDad says:

      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.

      • Tea says:

        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 swimmers know that.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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