Cate Campbell now Australia’s premier global superstar

Cate Campbell - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Australia’s premier swimmer Cate Campbell continues her globe trotting year this week when she arrives into Doha for the final FINA World Cup of the Year – and where she will face-off against the who’s who of the world’s best sprinters.

Campbell will be hoping to maintain an extraordinary dominance in swimming’s blue ribband 100m freestyle, with its amazing depth and collect the spoils of her stunning performances.

Campbell, at 27, has enjoyed a year like no other in a stellar career that has seen her become one of international swimming’s real global superstars.

IAN HANSON Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Not since Ian Thorpe has Australia produced a star of Campbell’s calibre – this year remaining unbeaten over 100m freestyle in the World Cup long course meets in Tokyo (52.64), Jinan (52.34), Budapest (53.00), Berlin (52.51) and Kazan on Sunday, where she wrapped up the 50/100m freestyle double and showing off her extraordinary talent. Four of her 100m swims contributed to a tally of 44 sub-53sec swims in the past six years.

Campbell opened up her Kazan weekend with a 50m freestyle win in 24.08 over Michelle Coleman (Sweden) 24.28 and it was a similar story in the 100m with Campbell (52.76) too strong down the final lap to again beat Coleman (53.04) with sister Bronte (53.08) third.

In between there have also been 100m wins in her opening two appearances for the London Roar in the short course International Swimming League in Lewisville (51.37) and Budapest (51.02) where Campbell dead-heated with Dolphins team mate Emma McKeon as well as two powerful relay anchors of 50.28 and 51.780, where Campbell is so often at her brilliant best.

Following Doha it will be off to London (November 23 and 24) for the Roar’ s first home match against Aqua Centurions, Energy Standard and Iron as the London team, bolstered by a host of Australians look to secure their place in the ISL Grand Final in Las Vegas on December 20 and 21 in the Mandalay Resort and Casino.

Cate Campbell AUS, 50m Freestyle Final, 18th FINA World Swimming Championships 2019, 28 July 2019, Gwangju South Korea. Pic by Delly Carr/Swimming Australia. Pic credit requested and mandatory for free editorial usage. THANK YOU.

DOLPHINS DIVA Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Campbell’s only 100m freestyle loss in her year of dominance came in the World Championship final in Gwangju, won by US co-Olympic champion Simone Manuel (52.04) who edged out Campbell (52.17) in a thriller.

Only Manuel over long course and 2012 Olympic champion Ranomi Kromonidjojo (51.01) over short course have swum faster than Campbell throughout her helter-skelter 2019 season – that’s not over yet.

It’s a year which could not have fallen better for Campbell as she plots a fourth Olympic campaign and a career that she has already said is planned until 2022 and who knows, may even stretch to 2024.

Campbell and Cusack a lifelong team

Life long coach Simon Cusack, one of swimming’s shrewdest minds, knows Campbell inside out and has been by her side through thick and thin and knows she is thriving on this rare year of racing – that will sharpen her skills as she pursues Tokyo 2020.

“It’s been perfect timing for Cate, with our Olympic Trials not until next June and with the introduction of the ISL and her availability for the World Cups,” said Cusack, now in charge of the Campbell sisters Cate and Bronte and Paralympic golden girl Ellie Cole.

“For Cate, at this stage of her career it could not be better – she is a mature aged athlete who knows how to manage her life in and out of the water – ensuring she gets her work done in the gym and maintains her diet, as well as earning a living as a professional swimmer.

“I couldn’t be happier for Cate and with the way she has been performing, she’s been very consistent and she knows what she has to do.”

And so far Campbell has racked up nine wins across the Series and apart from her individual winning prizemoney of $US13,500 she collected a $US50,000 cheque for her Cluster One victory and leading the rankings going into Doha that will see the leading female walk away with $US150,000.

The Australians have been well represented in this rare racing year that Dolphins head coach Jacco Verhaeren, who has only just returned from Europe to finalist Australia’s plans for 2020.

And following Minna Atherton’s rip-roaring 100m backstroke short course world record of 54.89 in Budapest he has since witnessed his two other backstroking girls, emerging Olympian Kaylee McKeown and triple Olympian Emily Seebohm, who is third on the World Cup rankings, continue to put their hands up.

McKeown, the winner a break through silver medal behind American super-teen Regan Smith, in this year’s World Championships notched double gold in Kazan in the 100m (59.25) with Seebohm (59.63) third and the 200m (2:07.92) ahead of Seebohm (2:08.45).

GWANGJU Kaylee McKeown reaction

KAYLEE’S BACK FOR AUSSIES Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

She as also second behind Hungarian superstar Katinka Hosszu in the 200IM, clocking 2:13.04 to the Olympic champion’s 2.09.50 – and an extraordinary 300th World Cup career victory.

After her World Cup commitments Seebohm, who is now firmly entrenched under new coach Michael Bohl at Griffith University on the Gold Coast, will line up with the ISL Energy Standard team in London on November 23 and 24, with Georgia Bohl and Travis Mahoney in the Aqua Centurians and 12 Australians in the London Roar.

Apart from the Campbell sisters, the Roar will feature captain and Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers, Emma McKeon, Elijah Winnington, Alex Graham, Matthew Wilson, Cam McEvoy, Jess Hansen, Holly Barratt, Minna Atherton and Tay McKeown.

The Dolphins could well be in their best international racing shape ever as they approach an Olympic year and a Trials meet closer to the Olympics than ever before.

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3 years ago

Great story. Excellent racing lead up to Tokyo. Good to see. I still reckon Australia may as well fully adopt a US and Europe calendar with Nats in July rather than April. That way kids can consider NCAA and still swim Nats.