FINA Communications Department

At a press conference tonight, December 12, in Hangzhou (CHN) where the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships are currently underway, Cameron van der Burgh announced he is retiring from competitive swimming.

South Africa star breaststroker made the announcement moments after claiming victory in the 100m breast in 56.01, establishing a new World Championships record, in front of Ilya Shymanovich (BLR, 56.10) and Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki 56.13).

The 30-year-old swimmer can be proud to count, among other many achievements, one gold and one silver Olympic medals from London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as two World titles from Barcelona 2013 and Rome 2009, to his champion’s tally (full list of achievement below).

After visioning the video prepared by sponsor Arena, a very emotional Van der Burgh announced: “It is an amazing flashback to see a long way ago when I was still a young kid with a lot of dreams. It has been amazing to fulfil those dreams but today is the day I announce my retirement. I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome of my last race tonight. I have won the 100m breast gold medal here in Hangzhou tonight and I feel very blessed to be here in this room with my family and coach.”

“Thank you so much for every person that has been a part of my life and my swimming career. Swimming has given me so much and has “springboarded” me to the next part of my future.”

“2018 has definitely been the best year of my life. I have gotten married to my beautiful wife who is here in the room; my Commonwealth Games gold was also one of the heights. But I have also started to plan my future and think what is coming next for me. Swimming has really given me a springboard for the rest of my career.I have now started to work at a private hedge funding company in London where we trend with oil and the rush I get from there is very similar to what I get when I race. The sport of swimming has given me the platform I needed for the rest of my life”, he said reflecting on his year.

"Developing about his new business career, van der Burgh said: “I see myself as a chameleon. I have always adapted with my own assets and taken bits from here and there to form my own puzzle. Moving forward to business I have been lucky enough to join a world’s leading company where I am learning along the way. Responsibilities will come with time but I can see my progression in the four months since I have joined. I have this urge to prove that I am more than Cameron the swimmer.”

About tonight’s victory he said: “The final tonight was very tight. I was very happy to race some of the other athletes. I knew everybody would be tired in the last 25m so I knew this would be the moment I could beat them. I thought this was the last 25m of pain in my life and when you become the World champion all the pain disappears.”

The below video is a recap of van der Burgh’s career best moments.

2018

World Swimming Championships - Hangzhou

Gold 100m Breaststroke

2017

World Championships – Budapest

Bronze 50m breaststroke

2016

Olympic Games - Rio de Janeiro          

Silver 100m breaststroke

World Swimming Championships - Windsor

Gold 50m Breaststroke

2015  

World Championships – Kazan

Silver 50m breaststroke

Silver 100m breaststroke

2014

World Swimming Championships - Doha

Silver 50m Breaststroke

2013

World Championships - Barcelona

Gold 50m Breaststroke

Silver 100m Breaststroke

2012
Olympic Games - London
Gold 100m Breaststroke
2011

World Championships - Shanghai

Bronze 50m Breaststroke

Bronze 100m Breaststroke

2010

World Swimming Championships - Dubai

Gold 100m Breaststroke

Silver 50m Breaststroke

2009

World Championships - Rome

Gold 50m Breaststroke

Bronze 100m Breaststroke

2008

World Swimming Championships- Manchester

Silver 100m Breaststroke

Bronze 50m Breaststroke

2007

World Championships - Melbourne

Bronze 50m Breaststroke

 

Commonwealth medals

2018

Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast

Gold 50m Breaststroke

2014

Commonwealth Games - Glasgow

Gold 50m Breaststroke

2010

Commonwealth Games - Delhi

Gold 50m Breaststroke

Gold 100m Breaststroke