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Cameron has hunger for more success

May 18, 2013
Cameron van der Burg

Cameron van der Burg

South African swimming sensation Cameron van der Burgh said he plans to continue his stay on top of the world after his gold medal victories at last year’s Olympics and the 2010 World Swimming Championships.

Visiting UCT yesterday to be named the first South African brand ambassador for a well-known shampoo, the 24-year-old said he was enthusiastic about joining people such as Manny Pacquiao and Lionel Messi as a brand ambassador for the company. “It’s a brand that’s been part of my life for years – you’ll always find a bottle in my gym bag. So I’m genuinely proud to now be the South African Head and Shoulders confidence ambassador.”

Van der Burgh, who is studying business management, claimed gold medals at the World Swimming Championships in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 2010. Last year he flew South Africa’s flag high at the London Olympics when he set a new world record in the 100m breaststroke event.

Yesterday Van der Burgh said:

“I’ve achieved the goals I wanted to, but the hardest thing now is consistency. Getting to the top is one thing, but staying at the top is something completely different.”

Van der Burgh, who remains modest about his stellar achievements, said he would continue his 30-hour-a-week training regimen.

“I like to think of my career as a totem pole that starts from the ground up each year. I never let my past achievements dull my edge,” he said.

In his free time, Van der Burgh said he spends time with his family, but he’s also fond of playing the video game Fifa 13. He joked that he also enjoyed regularly beating close friend and South African swimming idol Chad le Clos.

“A lot of people think of us as rivals, but we’re also good friends. I was his mentor at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. We push each other to do better, for the sake of the sport. If we grow swimming in the same way in which Roland Schoeman and Penny Heyns did, we will be very proud,” he said.

Van der Burgh said he was still disappointed that Swimming SA could not pay for the entire South African team to compete in the Fina World Championships, to be held in Barcelona in Spain next month.

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee stepped in to pay for Van der Burgh and Le Clos, but other team members will have to pay for themselves.

“It’s a shame because there are some great swimmers who may not be able to pay… I remember when I had just started competing in international events. I was a kid and had no money.

“Without financial backing I don’t think I would have come as far as I have.”

iol

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