As With McEvoy, Jacco Verhaeren Points To Cate Campbell’s Nerves


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Although history was made in the women’s 100m freestyle race Thursday night in Rio, the nation of Australia wasn’t involved in that history. Instead of finishing 1-2 to become the first set of siblings to ever score gold-silver in the same event, current World Record Holder Cate Campbell and her double World Champion sister Bronte were denied medals entirely.

For Cate especially, the fact she fell short of the podium was extra puzzling given the fact the Commercial Club swimmer had just cranked out a new World Record in the event last month in Brisbane. She threw down a monstrous time of 52.06 to surpass a previous record set back in the supersuit era, so when the 24-year-old finished in 6th last night in a time of 53.24, bewilderment was felt across the Australian contingency.

Australian National Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren spoke to the media after the women’s 100m freestyle race, conveying that ‘swimming in an Olympic final is the most difficult thing for an athlete to do – and it shows.’

‘Looking at her [Cate Campbell’s] swims in the relay, for example, and in the heats and semi’s, she looked very smooth and very comfortable. So we can really only put it to nerves and nothing else.’

Verhaeren essentially chalked up Cameron McEvoy’s lackluster performances to the same ‘stage fright’ scenario, confirming the fastest 100m freestyler ever in a textile suit was not sick, just nervous.

“You can’t deny expectation, you simply have to deal with it,” Verhaeren says of the pressure athletes face when hitting the world’s biggest competitive stage.

Cate Campbell will be contesting the women’s 50m freestyle event today.

You can view Verhaeren’s statements in their entirety via this video, courtesy of the Australian Olympic Committee.

Verhaeren On Cate Campbell’s 100m Freestyle

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4 years ago

So he is basically saying they need to suck it up and perform

4 years ago

Australians time and time again prove that they cant step up when they need to

Gary P
4 years ago

Nerves had nothing to do with it. She just died in the last 25.

attilly the silly
Reply to  Gary P
4 years ago

yeah but the nerves made her expend too much energy on the first 50. If you’re nervous you tend to swim ‘tightly’, where your muscles are contracted even when they don’t need to be (eg while reaching during the catch). Nerves would cause this.

Reply to  attilly the silly
4 years ago

yep, also i think the nerves contributed to that false start, which completely took her out of her plan

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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