Ryk Neethling

Ryk Neethling

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Ryk Neethling

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Ryk Neethling (born 17 November 1977) is a South African swimmer. He won an Olympic gold medal in the 4×100 m freestyle relay at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He is the former joint owner of the 4×100 m freestyle relay world record and holds several South African records. He also is the first South African to compete four successive Olympic Games.

Biography

Born in Bloemfontein, he attended Grey College, where he excelled in swimming, earning a place in the South African swimming team for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where he came fifth in the 1500 m freestyle.

Immediately following the Games he was enrolled at The University of Arizona in the United States of America, where he further cemented his swimming reputation, earning a numerous awards and accolades, including being the 9 times NCAA National Champion, Arizona Athlete of the Year and PAC-10 Athlete of the Year for four consecutive years, 1999 NCAA Swimmer of the Year, and the University of Arizona Athlete of the Century award.

He continued his international career at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, winning the silver medal in the 1500 m freestyle, but only managing fifth at the 1998 World Aquatics Championships. In 1999 he had a much better Pan Pacific Championships winning silver in the 1500 m freestyle, and bronze in the 400 m and 200 m freestyle. After achieving a disappointing 5th in the 1500 m freestyle event and 8th in the 400 m...
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