South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh, 24, set a new world record for the men's 100-meter breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympic Games. His record time, 58.46 seconds, shaved 0.12 seconds off the previous record of Australia's Brenton Rickard.
The previous record, set by Rickard at the 2009 world championships in Rome, was set before polyurethane bodysuits were banned. Van der Burgh set his record without the benefit of a similar suit.
By dint of his achievement, van der Burgh became the first South African man to ever win an individual Olympic gold medal for a swimming event, according to the Associated Press. After his win, van der Burgh was seen celebrating by relaxing on the pool lane dividers and excitedly pointing up at the sky.
Van der Burgh faced no serious competition in the race, breaking ahead of the pack early in the first lap and managing to hold his lead well in the second half of the race.
Following van der Burgh were the Australian Christian Sprenger and the American Brendan Hansen, according to the London 2012 online site.
Japan's Kosuke Kitajima finished fifth. Kitajima won the gold medals for the 100-meter breaststroke at both the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. If Kitajima had managed to take home the gold medal again, he would have become the first man to ever win three gold medals for the same swimming event at the Olympics.