Cate Campbell Makes Splash With 33rd Career Sub-24.2 Dash To World Cup Crown

Cate Campbell - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

World Cup, Round 7, Doha, day 1

Cate Campbell hurtled towards the US$150,000 World Cup series top prize with a 24.11 blast over 50m freestyle in Doha on the first day of the concluding round of a season drowning in a depth of mediocrity.

The Australian sprinter has done a fine job for self and bank account this season: the 24.11 matched her medal-winning effort at World titles back in July and marked her 14th sub-24.5 of the year and equalled her 16th career best on a list with two shiny suit efforts ahead of the speed she mustered today.

Campbell’s latest effort also contributed to a treasury of speedy stats: it was also a 72nd career swim in that time zone, on a list that now boasts a staggering 33 efforts of 24.2 or better.

  • On the all-time performances rankings, Campbell, 27, occupies a towering 28 slots in the Top 100 dashes down one lap of a long-course pool.

Reasons for Campbell to be cheerful as she approaches her fourth Olympics campaign include a pay day that, with FINA Cup and International Swimming League earnings for London Roar, could get to around quarter of a million U.S. dollars (over AUS$300,000).

Sweden’s Michelle Coleman split the Aussie sisters of speed with a 24.50 dash ahead of Bronte Campbell‘s 24.74. The win made for max points for Campbell, with second-best woman on the series table, multi-season winner of previous years Katinka Hosszu, of Hungary, winning the 200m butterfly today but making no inroads into the Australians rush to the prize.

Hosszu clocked 2:08.60 just ahead of teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos in a final in which the last two home slower than the global pace-setters of 1976 onwards.

Campbell has the 100m freestyle at the weekend in Doha, Hosszu several events but the Australian is on course to become the first woman from her country to lift the $150,000 top prize by the end of the third day on Saturday evening local time.

Elsewhere, there were a few solid swims but even the bigger names and their times has a sense of season overload about them, while the depth of quality (or lack of it) in the Cup confirmed that the event is in need of rehabilitation or retirement.

Each final, barring the men’s 100m breaststroke, included swims slower than global pace in the last decade and even up to four decades back into the last century.

In Cate Campbell’s final, the last home took us back to the days of Jill Sterkel and swifter moments in 1980.

Danas Rapsys (LTU) is up with the times, 3:45 over 400m freestyle among the better efforts on this year’s Cup circuit. Today, he clocked 3:47.87 to stay a stroke ahead of a 3:48.61 from Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) and keep hopes alive of lifting one of the minor series prizes ($100,000 for second, $50,000 for third) behind Vladimir Morozov.

The Russian sprinter, like Campbell enjoying a good run on the bank in Cup and League this season, took the 50m free in 21.83 today, no tigers inside 22. While none in the final would have beaten Tom Jager, 1990, the last home would have struggled with Rowdy Gaines, 1980. Behind Rapsys over 400m, the last two home in the final were slower than Tim Shaw, 1974.


Yasuhiro Koseki – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

The men’s 100m breaststroke was the only race in which you didn’t have to turn the mind back to the last Century to find the pace of then beating the now. Up top, the first five home inside the minute were led by Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki, on 59.11 as the only man scoring 900 points.

Arno Kamminga (NED) was close, on 59.25, while Anton Chupkov (RUS) kept Felipe Lima (BRA) and Jake Packard (AUS) at bay by a touch in 59.83.

In the women’s 50m backstroke, Dutch challenger Kira Toussaint kept up her good form for the win in 27.80, her fourth best effort off the year and fifth best career dash. Australians Kaylee McKeon and Emily Seebohm followed her home in 27.92 and 28.08 respectively.

Chad Le Clos (RSA) clocked 51.70 for a solid win in a 100m butterfly final in which the last two home around the place of Pablo Morales, 1986.

Other winners:

  • Marlene Kahler (AUT) 4:10.51 – 400m freestyle, the last two home slower than Shane Gould, 1972
  • Eszter Bekesi (HUN) 2:28.24 – 200m breaststroke, the last six home slower than Svetlana Varganova, 1979; last home … slower than Galina Prozumenschikova, 1964
  • Brad Woodward (AUS) 1:58.42 – 200m backstroke, the last four home slower than Roland Matthes, 1973

Results in full at Omega

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