There is a lot of expectation being placed on world record holder Cameron van der Burgh to kick start Team South Africa’s medal hunt at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Cameron, who is the world record holder in the long course 50 m breaststroke, also holds the world records for the 50m and 200m breaststroke in the short course events (swam in a 25 m pool).
He has focused over the past year on the 100 m long course breaststroke event as this is the distance being swam at the Olympics. Cameron’s heat is tomorrow and then the final of the 100m breastroke will take place on Sunday evening.
With a best time of 59.73, swam at Bacelona in the Mare Nostrum series, Cameron is certainly in the mix for a podium finish, with his biggest threat coming from 2008 Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima, the only man to break 59 seconds this year, with 58.90.
Van der Burgh is fourth in the current world rankings (59.73) with Kitajima (58.90) and Ryo Tateishi 59.60 in the first two places. Brazil’s Felipe Franca da Silva is third in 59.63.
Cameron has all the experience he needs to stake his claim for a medal at the London Olympics. He is a current world champion and world record holder. Confidence in his ability and with all the hard training done and dusted, Cameron will not be easy to beat in London.
He could well start of the South African medal hunt and win the first medal of the 2012 Olympic Games.
He will have a whole country supporting him and rooting for him. Go Cameron!