Cate Campbell Christens A Fast Lane Return With A Slick 53.52 At A Low Key Brisbane Swim Meet

Cate Campbell
PREPARING TO POUNCE: Cate Campbell back in the fast lane in Brisbane. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Cate Campbell Christens A Fast Lane Return With A Slick 53.52 At A Low Key Brisbane Swim Meet

Four-time Olympian Cate Campbell has slipped quietly back into swimming’s fast lane winning the 100m freestyle final in a slick 53.52 (25.76/27.76) when she returned to competition at a local swim meet in Brisbane.

The 30-year-old superstar of Australian swimming dived in for her first race since the Toyko Olympics at the Vorgee Senior Metropolitan Championships, as she plots a serious bid for a record fifth Olympic campaign for Paris.

Campbell has teamed up with respected Australian Team coach Damien Jones at the Rackley program out of the Centenary Pool in Brisbane.

Jul 30, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Emma McKeon (AUS) and Cate Campbell (AUS) place first and third in the women's 100m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

TOKYO TRIUMPH: Emma McKeon (right) and Cate Campbell celebrate 100m freestyle gold and bronze respectively at the Tokyo Games. Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports.

And she showed she is certainly well on track, clocking 54.58 in yesterday’s heats before upping the anti winning today’s final in a time that would have seen her finish second behind Australian teammate Shayna Jack (St Peters Western), who clocked 53.12 (25.73/27.39) in last night’s NSW State Championships in Sydney.

Jack edged out Olympic champion Emma McKeon (Griffith University, QLD) who clocked 53.55 (25.93/27.62) and Olympic relay golden girl Meg Harris (Marion, SA) 53.91 (26.37/27.54) – with all girls racing in their heaviest period of training.

“Considering it’s a local Brisbane meet, I am feeling unreasonably nervous,” Campbell told AAP swimming correspondent Steve Larkin before the meet on Thursday.

“More because I just have no idea what to expect. I am in completely uncharted territory but you have to start somewhere.

“This is an important first step. I have been back in the pool for about three months now so it will be important to see where I am at and also to see how far I still need to go.”

Campbell has a war chest of eight Olympic medals including four gold and three consecutive gold medals in Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relays in London, Rio and Tokyo – the fourth in the 4x100m medley in Tokyo.

Campbell said while competing at a fifth Olympics was her goal, she realised the enormity of the task.

“To challenge for these Olympics it’s not something I have to do – and that was very much part of the decision to come back,” she told Larkin.

“If this was possible, then I wanted to do it. But if it became clear that it’s an impossible dream, I can still walk away and look at my career with satisfaction.

“I want to be better than my best, see where that limit is. I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t willing to give 100 per cent.

“I am not just there to go to my fifth Olympic Games … I am not there to participate, I am there to compete and hopefully do some very fast racing.”

Last month, Campbell returned to the elite Australian swimming program at a national training camp on the Gold Coast.

“It was very surreal because I used to be the 15-year-old challenging the older members of the swim squad,” she said.

“And to be an older member being challenged by them now is just wild.”

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6 months ago

Atta girl, Cate.
Waited patiently to see you back.