As we reported just days ago, a large contingent of 90 Australian swimmers has descended upon the Gold Coast for the annual National Event Camp from February 5th through February 11th.
Among those attending the sprint-specific camp are sisters Cate Campbell and Bronte Campbell, the dominant duo who has represented the nation at major international events over the last decade.
Malawian-born Cate Campbell is one of the most decorated swimmers in history. She has amassed 8 Olympic medals, including most recently capturing bronze in the 100m freestyle in Tokyo at the postponed 2020 Olympic Games.
The 30-year-old took a break post-Tokyo, opting out of 2022’s long course and short course World Championships, as well as the Commonwealth Games.
When returning to the pool in September of last year, C1 said, “After taking the longest time out of the water in my life, I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to start from where I am – not from where I was, or where I want to be.”
Her attendance at the Swimming Australia National Event Camp is further evidence she is sticking to her plan of aiming for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
- See Also: Cate Campbell: “We Don’t Have to be Ashamed on Mental Health Struggles”
- See Also: Cate Campbell Has Learned to Embody the Mantra “Be Brave”
As for younger sister Bronte Campbell, C2, some are surprised to see her back in the water, let alone at an official training camp.
A two-time world champion in 2015 and 3-time Olympic medalist, C2 has been riddled with injuries in the last few years of her storied career.
She indeed helped the green and gold take the top prize in the women’s 4x100m free relay, as well as contributed to the Aussies’ mixed medley relay bronze in Tokyo. However, a shoulder injury prevented her from competing at the 2021 International Swimming League (ISL) playoffs for Team LA Current.
C2 also opted out of the 2022 long course and short course World Championships, as well as the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
So Bronte confirmed her plans to target Paris 2024 just now on Instagram.
Predictions Relays Australia and USA in Fukuoka
Gold for AUS with o callaghan/Wilson o harris/ Jack/ mckeon
(Campbell in Paris is more problably)
Silver for USA Huske/weitzeil/curzan/walsh
Bronze for Canadá
Mcintosh/ macneil/ Smith/ruck
(Oleksyak dont Will go to Fukuoka, i think)
Still don’t understand this obsession with Walsh. Huske, Weitzeil, Curzan, Manuel, Comerford, Brown and even Hinds have all been faster than her. If she does make the Fukuoka team, not sure I see her in the relay final.
So much positive news to wake up to this morning! Exciting and energizing!
Big cheer for Cate – imagine standing on the edge of the pool on Day 1 to start your 5th Olympic campaign! Not many have achieved that….
And she’s won a medal at all four so far. Not sure how many can say they won medals at five consecutive Olympics
Good question…..Phelps and a few others are at four…..
Hopefully the rest was just what Bronte’s body needed and she’ll come out firing one last time in 2024. I wonder who’s coaching her?
As yet unknown/unannounced. She did intimate a few months back that she was looking at getting back into serious training and finding a new training/coaching situation. From all signs, she has remained in Sydney whereas C1 returned to Brisbane.
Well, it’s gonna be an all out brawl for silver and bronze
In the 4×1 free at worlds and Paris also
Agreed. I feel that after Emma’s historic performances at SCW, she still has to be the heavy favourite for all of her events at trials. But it’s really conceivable that Cate, MOC, Jack, Bronte or Madi could get the second spot depending on who’s on (I hate to count out Meg but her 100 seems to have regressed a bit this year and her relay performances are often slower than her flat start).
Meg broke her arm/elbow skating this year, so giving her some leeway.
Yeah fair. I would love to see her keep improving. However, her relay performance leaves a lot to be desired.
Across 11 relay swims in Tokyo, Budapest and Melbourne, only 3 times has her relay split been more than 0.1 faster than her flat time, and two of those were in prelims.
However, I will concede that her 50.76 from the Medley Relay in Melbourne was fantastic.
In 4×100 free relay for sure and it’s gonna be a battle between US and Australia in medley relay .
A bit like Ledecky and Titmus battle in the 800 metres.
a combination Manuel, commerford, weitzel, huske, Douglass and Walsh might make things interesting
I would love to see it but those girls will need to swim their best races and the AUS girls will need to slip a little. You got high 51/low 52 from Emma and healthy C1 plus mid 52’s from MOC, Jack, Madi, etc. That’s tough to beat.
On Tokyo evidence, its probably fair to suggest C1’s sub 52 days have passed. Think 52 middish may be a more realistic figure ….. if she makes the team.
Sub 52 from McKeon; if healthy and in good form = a fairly good bet off CG evidence. A completely bonkers (ie 51 low) ? If her form is anything like SC Worlds = a very real scenario.
Of the others; MOC is the one with the most evident top-side with her 52.0 in MFR in Budapest. She may/may not join the sub52 club this year but she looks the most likely new member and 52 low is at least a realistic expectation.
Other than some Americans going completely bonkers; these… Read more »
The fastest ever combination for this group is:
Comerford 52.59 leadoff (her PB which she hasn’t been close to since 2017), Huske 52.70 (PB split), Curzan 52.71 (PB split) and Manuel 51.86 (hasn’t been close since 2019).
That would result in 3:29.86, which is still slower than Australia in Tokyo. It’s 1.09 faster than Australia in Budapest which didn’t have Emma.
Is it possible USA wins? Absolutely. If you’re a swimming fan you should know that there are no guarantees, especially in relays. But based on the current evidence it is extremely unlikely.
Interesting scenario for US you have put up. As to liklihood; somewhat of a mixed bag as whilst one must take PB splits into account; the issue of “currency” of those times has to be a potential counterbalance. My usual demarcation line is 2years.
will be interesting to see how the 100m free finals pan out at next Trials? and who misses out
These are all the 100 free times by Aussie women under 55 seconds since 1 Jan 2020:
Holly Barratt has since retired. It… Read more »
Remember in 2019 when people were predicting the demise of the Australian 4×100 after Tokyo?
I remember in 2021 when people were predicting the demise of Australia in Tokyo despite leading the world in about 10 events.
It does seem that the “Aussies choke” and “But CATE CAMPBELL IN RIO” crowd have been shut up quite a bit which is nice.
There’s been a few chokes from Americans in the last couple of years so they can’t really talk anymore.
The great thing about the Campbells and McKeon staying around is it gives enough time for us to develop a full team of 52 flat starts by the time they retire.
Jack, Harris, O’Callaghan are all young enough to hang around until LA28.
mckeon lucked out with the postponement of the Olympic Games (Simone Manuel enter the Olympics as the heavy favorite after winning the 50-100 in gwanju) but the the one year delay cause the overtrain syndrome and comerford the same had mono in march i heard before trials and Gretchen Walsh performed poorly at trials
And yet Emma still swam faster than any of those girls have ever done. She would have been the favourite as she had the fastest time over the previous 12 months.
I wish I could be so “lucky” as to swim faster than any American has ever swam in history and then be told it was “just luck”. Grow up lol
And none of those predicting and praying fervently for that demise was an American. Honestly.
With the absence of McKeon as well as the unknown status of both Campbells; Budapest DID have the potential for someone else to “steal one” on this relay. However, others stood up admirably as well as neither USA or CAN yet being able to bridge the gap to AUS “A-” level.
No relay is ever truly “bullet-proof” but the culture of this relay over the past decade has appeared a healthy one. It’s certainly plausible that either USA or CAN could significantly bridge the gap by Paris; certainly to the point of legitimately competitive.
Whether one of the newer generation CAN legitimately match the splits of McKeon/Campbells is as yet unknown and it’s probably fair to suggest that even… Read more »
The only time this relay looked at all vulnerable was in Melbourne, and that is likely explained by the fact that the entire American team swam short course all through school and college and it was the first major short course event for most of the Aussie team.
I would say this relay is relatively safe in Fukuoka, barring a major breakdown. But anything could happen in Paris.
Was largely speaking in LCM terms but can give some credence to your SC Worlds point with SC being more familiar territory to US. However the presence of McKeon as a gamechanger (plus solid SC experience via ISL/World Cups) and Wilson (ISL veteran) were strong counterbalances.
After tokyo? in 2019 people were predicting that simone manuel, mallory comerford, abbey weitzel and gretchen walsh were going to beat australia in tokyo
Australia can thsnk the postponement In there favor
Thank postponement for the favour!!! We are so lucky. Manuel & the US was so hard done!!!! They would won the 50/100/200 free the 4x 100 free, the 4×200 free & the 4×100 med if not for the postponement.
Thank you for the Postponement.
PBs for USA:
G Walsh: 53.74
Total = 3:31.36 almost 2 seconds slower than Australia in Tokyo.
Even if your A team swam PBs they wouldn’t have won lol.
Australian women own the fastest 7 times in history in that relay. Their time from 2014 is faster than the American record.
Stop talking garbage and move on.
Also it’s “their”, not “there”.
They’ve been predicting that for ages. In 2017 USA beat an Australian team without C1 and some started to think this was the new status quo.
Some of the comments in Swimswam preview for PanPacs 2018 were saying USA weren’t unlikely to beat Aus and would sweep all 3 women’s relays when it was Aus that ended up sweeping including winning the 4×100 by nearly 2 seconds.
That was the same meet that C1 went 51.36, 51.19 and 50.93 anchoring on the 4×100, women’s medley and mixed medley respectively.
OMG I needed this so bad. People saying the Americans were definitely going to break the 4×200 WR and then Schmitt splits a 1:58.6 oof.
Yeah that thread has some HOT takes that aged so badly.
And that’s why I never act super confident in my predictions. I know how easily it can all go wrong and I know how stupid it feels when that happens.
Now do US.
USA actually has more women under 55 seconds: 30 compared to 19 for Aus. They also have more women under 54: 14 USA vs 9 AUS. However, if you look at sub 53.5 then Aus has 7 vs USA 4, and sub 53 is Aus 6 vs USA 2.
Let the games begin & may the best woman get on.
Fully that concur that any times north of 54flat will not be part of the selection conversation; either this year or next and 53.5 is probably a reasonable cut-off point for serious 4×100 consideration unless they somehow lose the likes of McKeon between now and Paris trials.
It will be curious whether:
Thoughts re Campbells:
Sixth place at 2022 trials was 53.82, and that was without Emma, Cate or Bronte swimming. Sixth place at Tokyo trials was 53.25. I would say that anyone swimming a 54 flat has essentially no chance at making the relay in Paris barring a major breakdown.
I have no idea whether either Campbell will attend trials this year. I assume Bronte is probably a hard no, but Cate has been back in the water for a couple of months now so she might go to trials even if she doesn’t expect to qualify.
Yes, I agree that ideally we’d get a younger swimmer at least in for the heats in Paris. Obviously whoever qualifies has earned their spot, but it… Read more »
Outside of MOC, the other 2 next gen are Meg Harris & Shayna Jack & while neither has solidified their positions their times are faster or as fast as any next Gen from the US or Canada.
As far as age groupers go, never any guarantees age groupers making the next step, you could say the same with the US & Can teams as well. So I would say Australia does still look very good for beyond Paris.
Jack is the same “class” (2015 World Juniors) as Oleksiak and Ruck. Will agree she may have US “covered” but would contend those 2 Canadians have stronger CVs.
MOC & Harris are a couple of “classes” later. Fully agree that both currently have the “number” of any latest generation Canadians and that MOC also has the Americans covered. Maybe less clear with Harris where Huske may be around par.
Very much agree AUS is exceedingly unlikely to suddenly fade to also rans post Paris; even with the expected departures
Great to see them back in the water. A bit of a surprise to see Bronte because she has pretty much been radio silent since Tokyo, while Cate has been clear about her intentions to try for Paris.