CAMPBELL DUEL STAYS IN POOL
Sibling rivalry not keeping Aussie superstar swim sisters up at night
AT 2.30am Tuesday following their epic Games joust in the pool, the words were was still flying back and d forth between swimming’s ultimate e sisterhood, with Cate and Bronte e Campbell at close quarters.
It was not a nightclub slanging g match between football rivals after a tight call on the field or a confrontation between the incendiary David Warner and an English cricket rival in n a Birmingham bar.
It was what the Campbell sisters s surprise us with even though it never r should – glory or silver, they are closer than the last Borobi plush toy in the wild finding a child’s hug.
Having spent their youth as a single phrase – “the Campbell sisters” – what else would you do but chose e again to be roomies in the Gold Coast t Games athletes’ village.
They were lolling on their beds s chatting, laughing and surely dissecting the 52 seconds that have redefined their careers yet again in the 100m freestyle. Burning at being beaten? Not Cate. “No one was going over the race. We don’t talk swimming away from the pool at all. We both came back, had a sisterly chat, family stuff, a laugh and I think we stayed up to 2.30am-ish,” Cate said.
“Look, everyone wants to win, there’s no denying. There’s always a tinge of disappointment that you don’t (win) but
for Br Bronte t to achieve what she did – swim that race, swim that time – is actually really inspiring.”
Cate was a mess in the excruciating moments when her Rio Olympics dream unravelled as a gold medal favourite, but she is leaving the Gold Coast with a sense of strength, a healthy perspective and an upbeat vibe. How could you not be when “#CampbellNation” won three individual golds and shared two more in relays to finish ahead of
Canada C (three) and New Zealand (two) in the pool?
Even with the 100m loss to Bronte, the Commonwealth Games have done wonders for Cate because hers was a quality 2016 Olympic bronze medal time beaten by a sister who swam as fast as it took to win Olympic gold in Rio.
“Bronte has had a really, really rough period with injury the last 18 months and to see her pull out something like that definitely makes you wonder what you are capable of,” Cate said.
Bronte is taking a chunk of time off to repair inflamed nerves – hip and shoulder issues that highlight how impressive her 100m swim really was.
“The other huge takeaway for me has been the Gold Coast Games themselves as a huge motivation for what comes next, especially because the love that other people feel towards me has surprised me the most,” Cate said. “That’s the number of people who came out and watched or stopped me in the street and said how much they enjoyed watching the swimming and everyone representing Australia.”
Having more in her life than just swimming has been a huge and calculated winner for Cate, at 25, so she is defined by more than a stopwatch.
She’s studying media and communications at university; she’s going to get back on the kayak she bought for the Brisbane River and she’s planning to run the The
Sunday Mail Bridge-to-Brisbane Fun Run on August 26. “I’ll keep doing different things after thrashing my body so much in the pool because I want to push my comfort zone outside it,” Cate said.
Cate and Bronte wouldn’t know Lily Schroeder, 12, and sister Ava, 11, but there are stories like theirs everywhere.
The swim girls begged their parents to go to the Commonwealth Games to watch their favourite Campbell sisters swim, so the family car was packed on the farm in Hamilton in country Victoria.
Four days later, they were watching the 100m final and adding even more to the reach of the Campbells’ story.
No one was going over oveove er the th race. Wd We don’t talk swimming away from the pool at all CATE CAMPBELL
TIME OUT: Bronte and Cate Campbell relax after captivating the nation in the Commonwealth Games pool; (inset) the star swim sisters embrace on the podium after Bronte won the 100m freestyle final. Pictures: Adam Head, AP