Campbells on song at world titles
At each major swimming meet, Australia’s world beating Campbell sisters pick a theme song.
And if Cate Campbell lives up to the title of their latest selection – Australian DJ Flume’s `On Top’, she will be making some history at the world championships in Russia on Friday.
Cate is hoping to become the first woman to defend the world 100m freestyle title in 40 years.
She appears on song after being at world record pace in the 100m semis before easing back to qualify second fastest behind Swede Sarah Sjostrom.
Her younger sister – “dark horse” Bronte – is third quickest.
Cate is usually not one to make bold predictions but if there were any doubts about her intentions she made them clear after the semis with their song choice.
“The lyrics are ‘I want the top’ and that’s definitely what I will be telling myself in the last five metres because it is bloody hard,” she said.
The Campbell girls have already stood atop the world titles podium in Kazan after helping guide Australia to 4x100m freestyle gold.
But they couldn’t quite get their head around standing side by side on the 100m dais despite shining in a star studded semi-finals.
Besides 2013 silver medallist Sjostrom, the women’s 100m final field also boasts Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo (fifth fastest qualifier).
Even American great Missy Franklin had to scrape in at eighth fastest qualifier after earlier picking up her 10th career world titles gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay, eclipsing Australia’s Libby Trickett’s mark for most by a woman at the championships.
“It’s something I dare not think about…but it’s in the back of our minds,” Cate Campbell said of sharing a podium again.
Cate Campbell clocked 25.35 at the first turn in the 100m semis – inside the 25.46 world record pace of supersuit assisted German Britta Steffen in 2009 – before easing off.
Campbell said picking the brain of head coach Jacco Verhaeren – ex-mentor for Kromowidjojo and the great Pieter Van Den Hoogenband – had added yet another string to her bow ahead of the final.
“I have definitely been working on starts and turns (with Verhaeren) – it is paying off a little bit,” she said.
“Those little things take people from being good to the best.”
Bronte Campbell inspired Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay gold with the second fastest split in history (51.77 seconds).
Only Cate Campbell had gone faster.
But she had sounded her intentions way back at April’s national titles when she upstaged her famous sister for the first time by claiming the 50m freestyle title.
Still, she was just happy to feature in the stellar 100m final field.
“I almost wish I didn’t have to swim it so I can watch it,” she laughed.
“But tomorrow it will be all guns blazing.”