Inspiring: young swimmers want to win like cameron

2012-08-20 00:00

THERE was a snaking queue of young fans who could not wait to meet their Olympic Swimming gold medalists champions, Chad Le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh at the Golden Horse Casino.

The pair had been scheduled to sign autographs, but only Van der Burgh was able to attend the autograph session. Le Clos was reportedly sick with ’flu.

The young fans who were carrying the Weekend Witness posters of the two athletes were happy to see Cameron, their swimming hero, but expressed disappointment at news of Chad’s absence.

Kiashen Maharaj (11) from Hayfields told The Witness that he was excited to finally meet Cameron.

“I came to the casino especially to see my Olympic heroes, but I was very disappointed that Chad could not attend,” he said.

For 13-year-old Jan Welter, it was more disappointing not to see Chad because he is moving to the Netherlands with his family.

“I was excited to meet Cameron, but I was a little bit disappointed not to have met Chad because I’m leaving next month to stay in the Netherlands,” he said.

Asanda Sithole (10) from Cleland said she was really quite excited to see the swimming legend Cameron.

“I am hoping to become a swimming Olympic gold medalist someday because I love swimming and I am already number one in my school,” she said.

She also expressed disappointment at not seeing Chad.

Van der Burgh said he enjoyed the city.

“I think that Pietermaritzburg is a small city like Pretoria where I come from so I am used to such surroundings,” he said.

He said for the next four years he wants to be injury free and train hard because that is what got him to be where he is.

“I want to defend the South African name by defending my title in Brazil,” he added.

The autograph signing on Saturday formed part of the South African Short Course Swimming Championships, hosted by the Seals Swimming Club at the GC Jolliffe pool.

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