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Double world champion swimmer Cameron van der Burgh will use Saturday’s Mare Nostrum competition in Barcelona to add the finishing touches to his preparations for the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China in July.

Van der Burgh is with the South African swimming team where they will participate in the Mare Nostrum series, reports Sapa.

The aquatic season will start in earnest with the series held in Barcelona, Canet, Monte Carlo and Rome.

“I am very satisfied with my training thus far, being only a year out of Olympic Games I’m working very hard and trying some new things I will test out in the next couple of competitions,” said Van der Burgh.

Van der Burgh has been in superb form this season, after he easily won the 100m breaststroke in 1:00.29 and came close to his world record in the 50m breaststroke.

He is at the top of the world rankings and indicated on Friday he is serious about defending his title at the Worlds. “I want to test out new race strategies and work on race training during the Mare Nostrum series,” he said.

These international swimming competitions will according to Van der Burgh be used as stepping stones towards the Worlds. “We can gauge where we are currently at training,” said Van der Burgh.

He said there was no place for complacency as he was up against tough competition.

“They are all very experienced and I always learn and pick-up on their strengths and weaknesses when I race against them,” he said.

Van der Burgh will be joined by the likes of Commonwealth and World Short Course gold medallist Chad Le Clos in the 200m fly, former world record holder Gerhard Zandberg (50m backstroke) and Olympic gold medallist Roland Schoeman.

South Africa will also have a strong women’s contingent with swimmers like Karin Prinsloo, Kathryn Meaklim, Suzanne van Biljon, Vanessa Moore, Wendy Trott and Leone Vorster who will carry the flag in Europe.


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