JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 16. IN an interview with Eye Witness News, Olympic gold medalist Cameron van der Burgh has now publicly stated his intent on pursuing an Olympic breaststroke double at the 2016 Rio Games.
“Something that I’m also looking at in 2014 is the 200m,” van der Burgh said. “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.”
Should van der Burgh be able to qualify in both the 100 and the 200 breaststroke at the 2016 Rio Games, he’ll be looking to join the territory of the likes of Kosuke Kitajima and Domenico Fioravanti, who both have swept the breaststrokes in Olympic competition with Kitajima having an unprecedented back-to-back double in 2004 and 2008.
Van der Burgh, who is more known for his sprint abilities in the breaststroke with both the world records in the 50 (26.67) and 100 (58.46) breaststrokes, will need to turn up his speed in the longer distance event to challenge the likes of Akihiro Yamaguchi’s world record in the 200 of 2:07.01.
He explained in his interview with the Eye Witness News that he is, in fact, putting in the work to increase his endurance.
“We’re averaging 15-16 km a day at the moment so it’s quite tough and grueling,” van der Burgh said. “You only really have to do this bulk base training at the beginning of the year and that is why it’s important that we get it done now because this season is so long.”
During the interview, van der Burgh also left some red meat on the bone for people to pick at as the always outspoken breaststroke said he thinks the breaststroke is the strongest stroke in the world now by far.
“I think breaststroke swimming is the strongest stroke by far out of all at the moment,” van der Burgh said. “The depth is just insane if we look at the times that we were swimming at the Olympic Games versus the World Championships. The breaststrokers were the only ones that were right up there on the Olympic Games times, a lot of the other strokes fell off quite short and there were a lot of jumps from first, to second, to third.”
Van der Burgh is never scared to speak his mind, considering he admitted to cheating to win his Olympic gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics due to a rampant under-application of dolphin kick rules by officials in the sport.