The swimmer’s medals and trophies were stolen from his parents house in Pretoria, South African media reported yesterday.
Van der Burgh, who is the 50 metres breaststroke world champion and world record holder and a favourite over the distance for the Olympics, told the Saturday Star that most of the items stolen during Friday’s burglary were irreplaceable.
The burglary took place on Friday when van den Burgh was practicing and his mother was out preparing for his 24th birthday party.
“I am really glad that nobody got hurt though, because that is the most important thing,” van der Burgh is quoted as saying.
Van der Burgh, who will be leaving for an Olympic training camp in Europe next week, said the the burglary has affected his preparation.
“Before the incident I was 100 per cent focused on the upcoming Games. Now I have lost some of that focus.”
He added that he would try to have the medals replaced by swimming’s international body, FINA.