Sib­ling ri­valry not keep­ing Aussie su­per­star swim sis­ters up at night

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - JIM TUCKER

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

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