03 July 2016
Australian Cate Campbell breaks 100m swimming world record
Cate Campbell clocked 52.06 seconds
Australia’s Cate Campbell will be the overwhelming Rio Olympic favourite after setting a stunning 100m freestyle world record at the Brisbane Grand Prix on Saturday night.
The likes of swimming great Dawn Fraser and former Olympic 100m champion Jodie Henry watched in awe pool-side as Campbell clocked a stunning 52.06 seconds.
She eclipsed German Britta Steffen’s old mark by 0.01 of a second set at the 2009 world titles during the now banned supersuit era.
Former world champion Campbell, 24, has always tried to fly under the radar ahead of major meets.
She had hoped her younger sister, reigning 50m-100m freestyle world champion Bronte, would take most of the heat in the Rio countdown.
But that will no longer be an option after Campbell became the first Australian swimmer to set an individual world record since the controversial 2008-09 supersuit period.
“It happened when I least expected it. I still can’t believe it happened,”
“People have been asking me when am I going to break a world record for the last three years. Now they will stop asking me the question.”
She easily eclipsed her previous personal best of 52.33 that secured her the 2013 100m world title.
Campbell said she would trade the 100m world record for Rio gold.
“Anyone who goes to the Olympics and says they are not after gold are kidding themselves,” she said.
“But one of my favourite movies is Cool Runnings and the coach says this great quote: ‘a gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you are not enough without it you will never be enough with it’.
“That’s something I have to take to heart. Gold would be the pinnacle for me but I have to make sure I am OK if that doesn’t happen.
Campbell is back to the height of her powers after shoulder surgery derailed her 2015 world titles campaign in Russia.
Illness ensured she missed contesting the individual 100m event at London but was part of Australia’s gold medal 4x100m freestyle relay team at the 2012 Games.
She was also part of Australia’s 4x100m freestyle world record team at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Campbell expected the time to also fire up her sister Bronte who was not in action on Saturday night due to illness.
Head coach Jacco Verhaeren appeared shellshocked pool-side.
“It’s very special for swimming in Australia,” he said.
“World records don’t come along every day, especially in 100m freestyle.”
Henry - the 2004 Olympic champion - hoped Campbell would “join our club” with Fraser by claiming 100m gold at her third Olympics.
“She knows what to do and fingers crossed she can join our club,” Henry said.
Fraser said she had a feeling history would be made.
“I said this morning to a couple of people I expected a world record because she looked so easy this morning in the heats,” Fraser said.
“But to come out like that, she was amazing.”
The Brisbane Grand Prix is the Dolphins’ final hit out at home before Rio.