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.
After taking the year 2017 off of world-level competition, Australian sprinter Cate Campbell is looking to return to the limelight.
The 2016 world record-breaker blasted the world’s fastest time this season, going 52.37 at the NSW State Open over the weekend. That time leads the world ranks by more than half a second at present (see below) and is historically fast, even by Campbell’s standards.
That’s easily the fastest January 100 free swim we’ve ever seen. While that can sound like an oddly cherry-picked stat, the significance is that most swimmers take most of the long course season to slowly drop their time towards a personal best. Campbell, in stark contrast, is swimming faster than anyone (herself included) ever has in the very early months of 2018.
Even in her world record 2016 season, the fastest Campbell went prior to breaking the record was 52.38, done at the Australian Championships in April. Campbell has always been a good in-season swimmer, but if she’s already this far ahead of where she’s been in previous seasons, we could be in store for a stellar summer battle for world rank supremacy between Campbell and current world record-holder Sarah Sjostrom.
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