Australian sprinter Cate Campbell decided to sit out next week’s World Championships in Budapest after a less than stellar Olympic campaign last summer where she came home with no individual medals. Campbell entered Rio last summer as the heavy favorite in the 50 and 100 free but fifth and sixth respectively. Campbell insists that she is shooting for peak performances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April and the 2020 Olympics.
Campbell took a long break after Rio and returned to training with long-time coach Simon Cusack but has not committed to the grind required to get back into shape to be able to race at the World level. She raced alongside her Australian Dolphins teammates at the Mare Nostrum in June but chose not to compete in Budapest next week.
Campbell also stated in a light-hearted interview that she took a long break after the Olympics that included skiing, bungee jumping and sky diving.
Campbell seemed at peace with her disappointing performances in Rio, but she assured she is fully committed to next year’s Commonwealth Games and the Olympics in three years in Tokyo, according to Australian chief executive Mark Anderson.
“Absolutely. I connected with her and she’s absolutely committed and wants to race in Tokyo. The thing we are doing differently in this [Olympic] cycle is we are taking a very individual approach, Cate is a great example of that,” Anderson said.
“She’s had a long international career so having some time out, being able to freshen up, it’s very good for her as a person and an athlete.
“She’s enjoying the time but she’s still swimming and still training. But she’s taking the pressure off and enjoying life and the sport. At the appropriate time, she will ramp things up and is very much looking forward to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“No concerns at all about her [motivation]. She’s got a view to 2020 and we’re pacing her throughout that.”
Campbell currently holds the world record in the 100 free that she set last summer at 52.06. That time could very well be lowered by Swede Sarah Sjostrom in Budapest next week.
Without Cate, the Australians will be led by her sister Bronte Campbell, who is the reigning World Champion in the 50 and 100 free, who will be looking for a better performance than what she had in Rio last summer. Like her sister, she also failed to medal in both her individual events after entering the meet as a medal favorite.
Read the original report from the Sydney Morning Herald here.