Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Campbell Shatters 50-Point Territory

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Disclaimer: Blueseventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The blueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Australia’s Cate Campbell has had her share of historic swims. She’s also faced her share of criticism for disappointing swims. But her 2018 Pan Pacs meet was an exercise in both overcoming demons and adding to her already sterling career accolades.

Campbell won 5 golds in Tokyo last week, bringing her career total to 9 Pan Pacs gold medals, with zero silvers or bronzes. In Ledeckian fashion, Campbell remains pure gold at Pan Pacs.

But for our Swim of the Week, we’re focusing in on one of those golds: the 4×100 mixed medley relay.

Now, before we get the typical flood of comments passionately expressing how little they care about mixed relays and calling them made up events, remember this: the 4×100 mixed medley relay is a real event. It’s an Olympic event that will be swum in Tokyo in two years for an Olympic gold medal that is as real as the one given to the 200 free champ. You can treat it like that, or you can get left behind the times.

It’s clear which of those choices Australia chose. The Australian team put forward their absolute best lineup, and all four swimmers showed up to compete. Mitch Larkin was 53.08, close to his best 100 back of the meet. Jake Packard split 58.68, a good half-second faster than he was individually in the 100 breast. Emma McKeon was 56.22, three tenths faster than her individual 100 fly.

And Campbell became the first female swimmer in history to go 50-point in a 100 free relay split at 50.93.

That’s a blistering time that torched the Pan Pacs field. In fact, Campbell was facing the author of one of her biggest disappointments: American Simone Manuel, who upset Campbell for Olympic gold in 2016, anchored the American relay. Campbell outsplit Manuel by almost two full seconds.

Campbell was good all week, but this swim was clearly her finest, more than a second faster than her world-leading 52.03 from the individual race. She backed up this swim with several other massive performances, too:

  • 100 free (individual): 52.03
  • 50 free (individual): 23.81
  • 100 free (medley relay split): 51.36
  • 100 free (free relay split): 51.19
  • 100 free (mixed medley split): 50.93

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Swimmer
3 years ago

Kind of looking forward to short course season now. Could this be the year a woman breaks 50??

GO SARAH SJÖSTRÖM
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

If Sarah Sjöström and Cate Campbell is in form, one of them, if not both, could break 50 seconds.

Jim C
Reply to  GO SARAH SJÖSTRÖM
3 years ago

SCM relay easy. SCM doable. LCM relay very unlikely. LCM and maybe Ledecky will break 3 minutes and 50 seconds….

Blair
3 years ago

It really wasn’t much of a season again for Cate, disappointing. Didn’t really get it done in the 50 Free, only able to muster a third-in-the-world ranking in the 50 LCM Free despite use of inhaler and cortisone shots. Really just her first good 100 Free and swim since she won at Worlds five years ago in Barcelona, sadly the standard has been set pretty low for what is considered a good performance by her.

Teddy
Reply to  Blair
3 years ago

What about when she broke the workd record in 2016?

Torchbearer
Reply to  Teddy
3 years ago

And the short course world record this year…

Kyler
3 years ago

Cate C one of the most off-putting swimmers in terms of attitude and sportsmanship currently in the sport of swimming today, quite full of herself with little justification since her performances have really paled since 2013.

He said What?
Reply to  Kyler
3 years ago

Ok, I read the article. It has already been established on this forum that the Americans came in with a disadvantage of jet lag and a nationals which allowed for a short training camp – basically trying to hold onto the tapers aimed for Irvine. Taking all of that in, I would say that the American swimmers performed well but not great. But it was certainly enough to control the medals table. So, what happens next year when the mistakes made this summer are rectified and avoided leading into next summer at the World Championships? I expect a better prepared American team. So, let’s stop all the huffing and puffing and let the performances in the pool do the “trash… Read more »

Billabong
Reply to  Kyler
3 years ago

Just let her say what she is feeling. No need to slam her. BTW she whipped her US opponent by almost 2 seconds in the relay 😂😂

Jim C
Reply to  Billabong
3 years ago

There is no need to slam her, but there was also no need for her to say some of things she said. The Australians and Americans both speak English. If Cate were Japanese and she said the same thing in Japanese the Americans wouldn’t know what was said, but if you are going to give an interview in the same language the Americans speak, you should expect that what you say will get back to the Americans. If the Australians found incentive in the Americans cheering USA, the Americans will find an incentive in Cate’s comments. Right now it looks like Cate is so good she can afford to give the Americans extra incentive to try to beat her, but… Read more »

Shutter
3 years ago

LOL, Campbell says US “put on notice” as US wins 18 golds to Australia’s 8 golds at Pan Pacs. What’s the “notice”, that the U.S. should bring along a bigger bag next time to take home its gold medals? Seems as though Cate’s trash talking has gotten faster as her swimming has gotten slower and continues its 6-year downward slide.

https://amp.theguardian.com/sport/2018/aug/12/pan-pacs-australia-second-to-united-states-as-cate-campbell-stars

Brownish
Reply to  Shutter
3 years ago

That was nice.

kevin
Reply to  Shutter
3 years ago

She was referring to the women’s relays , downward slide she swam a PB at the Pacs .

Tim
Reply to  Shutter
3 years ago

I love the way Campbell swims and perhaps these comments are part of the mental work she needs to do to be strong for Tokyo. That being said she is really old enough to know better than this and she just comes off as insecure with these comments. I am not American so I’m not being partisan these comments are just lame.

Science Geek
Reply to  Tim
3 years ago

I am American and her comments don’t come anywhere near offending me. Of course we(The US) are the big bad favorites with our 325 million people. Australia has 25 million and do a heck of a job with what they’ve got. Hungarians, Brits, and Japanese also impress me immensely. The underdogs are always gonna talk a bit when they are “putting us on notice.” I personally think they should be proud of what they accomplish and I just don’t see how her comments can be construed as low down or classless.

Jim C
Reply to  Shutter
3 years ago

After Swimswam picked an American to beat Cate in the 100 free, I give Cate one pass for what she says, but I want to know why the Australian Press didn’t just let her comments be off the record.

Boknows34
3 years ago

For all her immense talent C1 still has only one individual Olympic medal – a bronze in the 50 free in Beijing 10 years ago. And only one individual gold medal from the World Championships – 100 free in 2013.

Torchbearer
Reply to  Boknows34
3 years ago

Yep- that is very sad for someone of this talent. It makes it really hard to judge where she stands in the pantheon of 100mW swimmers…

kevin
Reply to  Torchbearer
3 years ago

Her career is over yet

Tellherid
Reply to  kevin
3 years ago

I agree, stick a fork in her inhaler, she is pretty much done.

Kelsey
3 years ago

Actually reckon Titmus’s 400 free is swim of the week

Tim
Reply to  Kelsey
3 years ago

Perhaps swim of the week is not only about time – if it was Cate is well ahead as she did something no-one else has ever done 50.9

kevin
Reply to  Kelsey
3 years ago

Yes it was pleasing to see Ariane stay close to Ledeky in the 400 certainly one of many mouth watering clashes to look forward at Toyko 2020. The girls events are exciting with Ariane , Ruck and the young japanese girl on the rise .

Science Geek
3 years ago

Wow, those are massive performances. 51.36, 51.19, and 50.93 on her three relay splits for an average of 51.16. C1 is back as strong as ever physically and stronger than ever mentally. Good to see, congrats

Yozhik
Reply to  Science Geek
3 years ago

If she is so good in relay vs individual race then why to not swim leadoff leg in relay as Sjostrom does.
More than 1 sec difference. What’s behind that? And this meet isn’t just an exception. Same thing has happened in Rio. Perfectly executed relay duty (51) at the beginning and at the end of the meet and terrible individual race in between.

Torchbearer
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

As for leading off relays, she has a bad flat start, and seems to excel in chasing people down with a flying start….

Jim C
3 years ago

It was a great swim by Care, but shattering 50 seconds to me means swimming under 50 seconds and most likely well under.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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