Australia’s Cate Campbell has been tearing it up this season, and she capped off the Pan Pacific Championships in front of a home crowd with perhaps her most impressive session of swims yet.
Campbell won the women’s 50 free in 23.96, breaking numerous records in one short 50-meter swim. It was an Australian record, taking down the 23.97 set by Libby Trickett back in 2008. It also broke the Australian All-Comers record, which was set by Trickett in the same swim. (The All-Comers record is the fastest swim ever done on Australian soil by a swimmer of any nationality). It also blew away the Pan Pacs meet record, set by American Jessica Hardy at 24.63 in 2010.
Finally, it placed Campbell into the record books for the Commonwealth nations, tying the Commonwealth record set by Great Britain’s Fran Halsall just a month ago.
Halsall herself was in action at the European Championships, winning gold in the 50 free with a 24.32 on the same day in Berlin. That makes Campbell’s swim even more impressive, and the general feeling so far has been that the indoor European Championships have provided a faster racing setting than the cold, rainy Australian outdoors during winter.
Campbell’s 23.96 win came in an Australian 1-2 with her younger sister Bronte. The two also 1-2’d the 100 free at Pan Pacs, ruling the sprint free events.
Campbell is now just two tenths away from the world record in the event, set by Germany’s Britta Steffen back in the rubber-suit era. Between Campbell, Halsall and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, the coming year should provide a true race for the world record, with all three women conceivably well within striking distance.