Campbell wins 100 freestyle at swim worlds
Little sister upset big sister and the rest of the world in the 100-meter freestyle.
Bronte Campbell led all the way against a strong field at the world championships Friday, winning in 52.52 seconds.
“I still can’t believe that,” she said.
The 21- year- old Australian sprinter was under world-record pace at the turn, with older sister and defending champion Cate Campbell in close pursuit.
Bronte earned the biggest international victory of her young career with the fastest time in the world this year, knocking her sister and Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands out of the top spot they shared.
“I’ve had a lot of good training,” Bronte said. “That’s an advantage I’ve had over Cate because she had shoulder surgery less than a year ago. I’ve seen her come back from that and struggle through all the rehab, which took forever. I know I wouldn’t be standing on the podium without her, so the medal is really half hers anyway.”
Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden earned silver in 52.70, a repeat of her finish two years ago in Barcelona. Cate Campbell took bronze in 52.82.
Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, the bronze medalist in 2013, was fourth. Simone Manuel of the United States was sixth and teammate Missy Franklin seventh.
Bronte went over the lane line and bypassed Sjostrom to find her sister for a watery hug before pumping her right arm.
“She helps keep me calm. She’s sort of like my lucky talisman,” Bronte said. “But when we get out behind the blocks it’s like every man or woman for themselves.”
The sisters live and train together, with Cate having been the dominant swimmer in the event the last few years.
But Bronte has been coming on, and is a medal threat for next year’s Olympics. In Barcelona, she finished 11th in the 100 free, and last year earned silver at the Commonwealth Games.
The Aussies earned another gold when Mitchell Larkin rallied to win the 200 backstroke, completing a sweep of the backstroke events in Kazan.
He trailed Ryosuke Irie after the first two laps before surging to the lead on the third lap. Larkin won in 1 minute, 53.58 seconds to go with his title in the 100 back.
Australia’s Bronte Campbell, right, holds her gold medal with her sister and bronze medalist Cate Campbell after winning the women’s 100-meter freestyle final at the Swimming World Championships in Kazan, Russia, Friday, Aug. 7.