GERHARD ZANDBERG

It was as a plucky 20-year-old that Gerhard Zandberg first made headlines as the only South African to bring home a medal from the 2003 World Swimming Championships in Barcelona � he took the bronze in the 50m backstroke Since then he has had to stand back to thelikes of bigger stars such as Roland Schoeman and Ryk Neethling. But in April this year he was back on the podium and this time he was on top, claiming the 50m backstroke gold at the World Championships in Melbourne. Melbourne's pools have been a happyhunting ground for the Pretoria resident who, just a year ago, joined Schoeman, Neethling and Lyndon Ferns to win gold for South Africa in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay at the Commonwealth Games. He also claimed a bronze medal in the individual 50m backstroke in the same competition and holds the South African and African records in the 50m and 100m backstroke events Zandberg trains under national coach Dirk Lange at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria and acts as coach and mentor to several younger swimmers. Only 24 years old, it seems there is plenty still to come from the national, continental and now world champion.

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