Johannesburg – Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh was trending on the social networking site Twitter on Monday after winning South Africa's first Olympic gold medal in eight years at the London Games.
Van der Burgh posted on his Twitter page on Monday: “I am an Olympic Champion! :) humbled by your tweets. Overwhelmed Emotions! As I'd all my life had been but preparation for this challenge!”
Van der Burgh won the gold medal in London on Sunday when he won the 100-metre breaststroke with a world-record time of 58.46 seconds.
His record was 0.12 seconds faster than the previous record held by Australian Brenton Rickard, making him South Africa's first men's individual Olympic swimming champion.
He qualified for the final on Saturday when he won his semi-final by breaking the previous South African, African, and Olympic records with a time of 58.95.
Many of Van der Burgh's followers have been re-Tweeting his update and posting messages of support.
“Thank you Cameron, you are a ROCK STAR!!! Mighty proud of you!! We are behind you and the whole team,” a Twitter user wrote.
“Cameron Van der Burgh is #BAUWS!!!Doing SA proud,” wrote another user.
“Hat off to Cameron van der Burgh... Flying the nations flag high... To the rest of the participants, GO GET EM #ProudlySouthAfrican.”
Well known personalities and sport stars joined the many proud South Africans in congratulating Van der Burgh on his win.
Springbok rugby player Pierre Spies wrote on Twitter: “Well done (at)Cameronvdburgh awesome achievement! #proudlysouthafrican #greatness”.
Former rugby player Bobby Skinstad also wrote: “(at)Cameronvdburgh -outstanding champ, well done, fantastic!! #fastestever!”
SA netball captain Amanda Mynhardt congratulated Van der Burgh.
“(at)Cameronvdburgh congrats on your great performance. You are our golden boy, so proud. Enjoy the Olympics. #SASparPoteas #Olympics.”
Comedian Trevor Noah wrote: “(at)Cameronvdburgh if only you could play FIFA like you can swim. Well done King Cam! #KingCam”.
Radio personality Gareth Cliff said: “Well done (at)cameronvdburgh ! #Olympics #LoveSA”
Many also joked with Van der Burgh on Twitter telling him that they were “also a champion breast stroker”.
Friends on Van der Burgh's official Facebook page also toasted the swimmer on his win.
“Congrats on your amazing accomplishment. Looking forward to seeing you do our nation more proud:) I for one am very proud!! baie geluk!! en sterkte verder,” a fan wrote.
“Wow, wow, wow - Congratulations!!!!! You are a true inspiration for all of us as South Africans. Well done, you are a true winner,” said another.
Others wrote: “Congratulations! You are a South African Superstar!! So proud!!” and “We salute u 4 takin RSA 2 greater heights. Well done indeed”.
After his win on Sunday, Van der Burgh said all his hard work had paid off.
“I don't really care about the world record, once you have become an Olympic champion that can never be taken away from you,” he said. – Sapa