As if the Australian women weren’t already favorites enough in the 4×100 free relay in Rio, Cate Campbell broke the 100 freestyle world record in the finals of the Australian Grand Prix today.
Campbell, a month out from Rio and presumably at least not-fully-tapered, eclipsed the mark formerly held by Germany’s Britta Steffen by .01, swimming a new all-time best of 52.06. Campbell had swam 52.97 in prelims. By comparison, no U.S. woman broke 53 in the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials last night in Omaha.
Steffen’s record was set at the 2009 in Rome at the FINA World Championships, one of many world records at that meet that ultimately led to FINA banning the so-called “supersuits.”
Today, Campbell went out in 24.89 and came home in 27.17, compared to Steffen’s 25.46/26.51.
Campbell already had the top time in the world this year, a 52.38 from the Australian Champs in April. Her sister Bronte Campbell has the second fast time in the world this year, from that same meet. Add in Emma McKeon, who’s ranked fourth in the world with a 52.80, and the Australians have three women faster this year than any woman besides Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who sits in third with a 52.78.