Van der Burgh beats Peaty in Commonwealth Games backstroke
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Cameron van der Burgh beat world record holder Adam Peaty to win the 50-meter backstroke gold medal Monday on the penultimate night of swimming at the Commonwealth Games.
Van der Burgh clinched his third consecutive title in the event on a night when two other South Africans also won gold.
“To be able to come through the years and be able to finish it on such a high, it’s something that is really special,” van der Burgh said. “Adam and I have a really tough rivalry and he has had the ‘up’ over me in the last couple of years. So to get up on the podium and see my flag up there and hear my national anthem being played, it’s going to be, when I look back on my career, one of my highlights.”
The 29-year-old Van der Burgh has said he will likely retire after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, meaning this will be his final Commonwealth Games.
Another South African, Chad le Clos took the 100-meter butterfly in a games-record 50.65 seconds, sweeping all three butterfly distances on the Gold Coast.
After Australian swimmers won the first two finals of the night in podium sweeps — Mitch Larkin in the 200 backstroke and Ariarne Titmus in the women’s 800 freestyle, South African Tatjana Schoenmaker followed van der Burgh’s gold with her second win of the meet, adding the 100 breaststroke to her earlier win in the 200.
Alys Thomas of Wales won gold in the women’s 200 butterfly while Bronte Campbell beat her sister Cate in 100-meter freestyle, preventing Cate from winning her fourth gold of the games.
Cate Campbell, who will still have a chance for her fourth gold when she swims in Australia’s 4x200 medley relay on Tuesday, took a year off swimming after the 2016 Olympics.
So far on the Gold Coast, she won gold medals in the 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly and the 4x100m freestyle relay, when Australia set a world record.