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SWIMMING

Dale Oen honoured by record-breaking rival

South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh pointed to the heavens in a tribute to deceased Norwegian swimmer Alexander Dale Oen after claiming Olympic gold and new world record in the 100 metre breaststroke on Sunday.

Dale Oen honoured by record-breaking rival
Photo: NTB Scanpix

"I dedicate this race to Alexander. I think about him a lot when I train. He was a role model for me," van der Burgh said to Norwegian broadcaster NRK after the race.

26-year-old Alexander Dale Oen died of heart failure in May while at a training camp in the USA. Dale Oen won the gold medal in the 100 metre breaststroke at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai and would have been one of the favourites for Olympic gold in London.

Van der Burgh recognize this in interviews after his historic race and expressed a wish that his close friend and training partner could have been in the lane beside him battling it out for gold.

After winning the race the South Africa celebrated by lying on his back on the rope and pointing to the sky in what he explained was a tribute to his fallen friend.

"I thought that he would have wanted to be there," van der Burgh explained.

Van der Burgh's 100m breaststroke world record denied Kosuke Kitajima a historic treble and gave South Africa an Olympic swimming first.

Van der Burgh was never headed, winning in 58.46sec to better the previous world record of 58.58sec held by Australian Brenton Rickard.

He became the first South African man to claim individual Olympic swimming gold, although South Africa won the men's 4x100m freestyle relay in 2004.

"If there is such a thing as the perfect race, I think I swam it at the right time tonight," van der Burgh said.

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SWIMMING

Facebook craze to force every Norwegian into sea

A new cold-water bathing craze has spread so fast on Norway's social media since it was imported from the Faroe Islands a week ago, that the man who started it now fears no one in the entire country will escape.

Facebook craze to force every Norwegian into sea
Nina Haugerud, who started the Facebook Group, does her dive. Photo: Line Haugerud/Facebook
The 'Jump in the Sea Challenge' sees victims dared to throw themselves into icy waters to avoid a penalty, which normally involves buying the challenger large amounts of alcohol.  They then nominate others with their own challenge. 
 
More than a thousand Norwegians have already signed up to a Facebook group where those who have accepted the dare post videos of their dives. 
 
Roy Poulsen, who brought the craze to Norway, told Dagbladet he had been amazed at how quickly the craze had caught on. 
 
"I am half Faroese and half Norwegian," he told the newspaper. " It was my eight-year-old daughter, who lives in the Faroe Islands, who first challenged me. The penalty for not carrying out is usually to buy alcohol for the challenger, but my daughter wanted a grip to the cinema." 
 
After diving into the waters off Myre in Vesterålen, Poulsen challenged some friends in the area, who challenged their friends, and so on. 
 
"It's crazy!" he told Dagbladet. "I did not know that the Norwegians were so crazy. Politicians and business leaders have jumped into the sea after me."
 
Poulsen has already apologised on Facebook to the thousands of  Norwegians he has already unwittingly forced into the icy spring waters. 
 
"I apologized on Facebook and in one minute I got over 41 'likes', it's totally insane!" he told the newspaper. 
 
He predicted that now the craze had taken off, everyone in Norway would have to take a cold water bath.
 
"It looks unfortunately like the phenomenon is now established, I think no one will escape."
 
The  challenge has the hashtag #hoppihavetutfordring on Instagram. 
 
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