Watch The Smoothest 52.78 100m Freestyler Ever: Cate Campbell


Current 100m freestyle world record holder Cate Campbell has a certain serene silky smoothness to her stroke unlike any other, even when she is charging to the wall in a new world #1 time. Such was the case again today, day 1 of the 2017 Australian Swimming Championships. Although ‘C1’ as she is nicknamed is reportedly sticking to her guns about not making herself available for World Championships selection, the 24-year-old threw down in prelims this morning, stopping the 100m freestyle clock at a scary-fast 52.78 to not only top the field, but the world this season.

C1 would follow-up with a slower 53.30 tonight to take bronze after sister Bronte’s 52.85 scorching gold medal-winning swim and silver medal-garnering Emma McKeon’s 53.12. However, based on the smile after her morning swim, it does look as though Cate is actually enjoying her nationals experience and having fun, which she has stated is her simple goal for this competition.

Video courtesy of Swimming Australia.


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5 years ago

Smooth was a great way to describe that swim.

Also did like at the end that C1 was more excited by Shayna’s swim than her own.

5 years ago

Cate’s freestyle is something special. She swims with so much power.

Has she ever talked about her race in Rio? It seemed like she had it going for 70 meters and then she slowed way way down.

How could she not know how to pace it after all the years of training and racing?

To me, it looked like she got overwhelmed with the Olympic pressure and was swimming in a state of panic.

Reply to  Marklewis
5 years ago

It was absolutely a panic swim. She flinched at the start and overswam the first 50m. She forgot who she was, i.e. a swimmer who can go 52.7 “casually” as she did in prelims yesterday. She had at least a 52.5 flat start in her at Rio but she wasn’t focused, wasn’t confident, was spooked by Penny’s 52.7 to nearly beat her in semis and swam way up on the other side of the lane rope next to Simone. I’m really concerned that an athlete of her absolutely massive talent and experience hasn’t had the psych support to cope with the Olympics. Sigh. Not dogging her out though– I’m a huge fan.

5 years ago

How do you know that she “wasn’t focused, wasn’t confident, was spooked by Penny”? This swimmer has been practicing for so much and for so long that it will be enough to circumvent the globe. In some of her previous interviews she told that she swims like a robot, like looking at herself from above. No place for mistakes, no improvisation at the race just whatever was repeatedly trained hundreds and hundreds times. She knew for sure what would be the consequences of a few extra strokes at first half or of extra efforts during first strokes. She is the Master in swimming that’s why she is so dominant. That’s why she was able to make this exceptional world record… Read more »

5 years ago

still the biggest shock in swimming history for me atleast that she didn’t even medal.

I think the medals this year at worlds will be between C2, Sjostrom, Manuel, Oleksiak.

Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

Still underestimating Blume? She’s even doing great in-season now and clearly has a champion’s mindset. Her start has big room for improvement aswell. IMO, Blume is the best bet for a fresh sub 24 swimmer this season.

samuel huntington
5 years ago

she wasn’t even tired after the race

5 years ago

I’ve said it a thousand times – Her stroke economy in mind-blowing. We talk of Oleksiak as a huge talent, which she certainly is, but I feel we’ll look back in 10 years and Realise Cate Campbell was the biggest sprint talent of her generation. Everybody, Oleksiak included, is a LONG way from 52.06.

Cate was doing 24.4 as a 14/15yo before it was a ‘thing’.

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

You are right. Penny Oleksiak’s performance in Rio placed her among elite sprinters. Her two days in a row 52.7 showed that she isn’t one race freak and gives us a hope that such a feat can be repeated and bettered.
But she isn’t the Leader as Cate Campbell is. The 0.64 sec is a huge difference. Don’t see her making it. At least in the nearest future.

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

Totally disagree. She may have the WR but has not shown the propensity to step up at three Olympic games in her individual races.

Reply to  Johnj
5 years ago

What do you disagree on?
That Cate is not the greatest sprint talent of her generation?
Let me refresh you of a few names who don’t have Olympics individual golds to their names: Jenny Thompson, Dara Torres, Tom Jaeger, Brendan Hansen, Franziska van Almsick, Jessicah Schipper, Katie Hoff, Michael Klim, Sippy Woodhead, Tracey Wickham, etc.

All those swimmers have something in common: broke multiple world records (some were legendary WRs), won individual worlds golds (except for Torres), and amazing dominance over the field and yet….no individual olympics gold.

Some swimmers are just unlucky. If you don’t consider Cate as the greatest female sprinter of her generation, then who is? Let us hear who you nominate for.

You also… Read more »

5 years ago

Helps when you are 6ft 3. Longer levers help.

Reply to  Johnj
5 years ago

It certainly didn’t help making Missy Franklin’s 100 free strokes anywhere near as smooth as Cate’s, did it?
Despite Missy being 1 cm taller. Watch this when Franklin was at her absolute best and Campbell wasn’t:
(starts at 4:00)

Anyway, Cate is a tad shorter than 6’2″, and she is only 3 cm taller than Ledecky. Even Megan Romano is a little bit taller than Cate, and Cate is only 1 cm taller than Dana Vollmer.

Reply to  RichardAU
5 years ago

Whoa Romano was fast… crazy she didnt make it to Rio after seeing that.

Reply to  Murica
5 years ago

She didn’t swim so crazy neither before this race nor after. Her personal best at 100 free is just 53.9

Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

True – she desapeared from the tablets after Barcelona .

dude 2.0
5 years ago

still sorta amazing this girl didn’t win gold at the olympics.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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