SwimmingCate Campbell Christens A Fast Lane Return With A Slick 53.52 At...

Cate Campbell Christens A Fast Lane Return With A Slick 53.52 At A Low Key Brisbane Swim Meet

Cate Campbell Christens A Fast Lane Return With A Slick 53.52 At A Low Key Brisbane Swim Meet

Four-time Olympian Cate Campbell has slipped quietly back into swimming’s fast lane winning the 100m freestyle final in a slick 53.52 (25.76/27.76) when she returned to competition at a local swim meet in Brisbane.

The 30-year-old superstar of Australian swimming dived in for her first race since the Toyko Olympics at the Vorgee Senior Metropolitan Championships, as she plots a serious bid for a record fifth Olympic campaign for Paris.

Campbell has teamed up with respected Australian Team coach Damien Jones at the Rackley program out of the Centenary Pool in Brisbane.

TOKYO TRIUMPH: Emma McKeon (right) and Cate Campbell celebrate 100m freestyle gold and bronze respectively at the Tokyo Games. Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports.

And she showed she is certainly well on track, clocking 54.58 in yesterday’s heats before upping the anti winning today’s final in a time that would have seen her finish second behind Australian team mate Shayna Jack (St Peters Western), who clocked 53.12 (25.73/27.39) in last night’s NSW State Championships in Sydney.

Jack edged out Olympic champion Emma McKeon (Griffith University, QLD) who clocked 53.55 (25.93/27.62) and Olympic relay golden girl Meg Harris (Marion, SA) 53.91 (26.37/27.54) – with all girls racing in their heaviest period of training.

“Considering it’s a local Brisbane meet, I am feeling unreasonably nervous,” Campbell told AAP swimming correspondent Steve Larkin before the meet on Thursday.

“More because I just have no idea what to expect. I am in completely uncharted territory but you have to start somewhere.

“This is an important first step. I have been back in the pool for about three months now so it will be important to see where I am at and also to see how far I still need to go.”

Campbell has a war chest of eight Olympic medals including four gold and three consecutive gold medals in Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relays in London, Rio and Tokyo – the fourth in the 4x100m medley in Tokyo.

Campbell said while competing at a fifth Olympics was her goal, she realised the enormity of the task.

“To challenge for these Olympics it’s not something I have to do – and that was very much part of the decision to come back,” she told Larkin.

“If this was possible, then I wanted to do it. But if it became clear that it’s an impossible dream, I can still walk away and look at my career with satisfaction.

“I want to be better than my best, see where that limit is. I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t willing to give 100 per cent.

“I am not just there to go to my fifth Olympic Games … I am not there to participate, I am there to compete and hopefully do some very fast racing.”

Last month, Campbell returned to the elite Australian swimming program at a national training camp on the Gold Coast.

“It was very surreal because I used to be the 15-year-old challenging the older members of the swim squad,” she said.

“And to be an older member being challenged by them now is just wild.”

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