Ryk Neethling

Swimmer

Ryk Neethling is one of South Africa's most successful swimmers. He holds the South African record in five different events and ranks in the top 10 in the world in the 50m, 100m, 200m freestyle and individual medleys. Neethling won a gold medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics and he's also the first South African to compete in four successive Olympic games. Neethling will mostly be remembered for turning down the multimillion-dollar offer to swim for the Qatar in 2005. But the biggest disappointment of his career came last year at the Beijing Olympics when he crashed out of the first round of the 100m freestyle after finishing last in his heat. � Lucky Sindane

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