Cate Campbell Drops A 52.06 Bomb For 100m World Record Faster Than Mike Wenden

Cate Campbell heralded and celebrated by Dawn Fraser in Brisbane today, courtesy of Swimming Australia

Cate Campbell went where no woman has been before today: 52.06 is the new world record over 100m freestyle. Quite why now, a month before the Olympic Games and three months beyond Olympic trials Down Under is a question that may never be answered given the Australian 2013 World Champion’s self-declared state of surprise. What we do know is that Britta Steffen’s 52.07 in a ‘speedboat’ of a shiny suit in 2009 is no more. What we do know is that Cate Campbell now swims faster than Mike Wenden did when he became what remains the last Australian man to lift the Olympic 100m free crown back in 1968 at altitude in Mexico City.

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After her untapered 24.04 in the 50m yesterday I wrote that I thought she could take down both of Steffens WRs in Rio but never did I think she would do it today, untapered in a warm up meet. Couldn’t have gone to a more deserved swimmer, someone who has been the dominant sprinter of this Olympiad. I was pessimistic about Australia’s chances in the medley given the times of King and worrell (and fast improving smoglia and weitzel), but if C1 can go 51 in Rio, and bohl and mckeon swim their trials times, I think they’ll have a good chance of beating the Americans



Thank you for this great article, it is worthy of such monumental and historical swim.

Even after such swim, Cate later on swim to anchor 4×50 medley in 23.37
Yup..makes your jaw drop even further. They should allow her to do a time trial in 50 free, she could break the 50 WR


ASF well she already had a chance at the 50m and swam 24.04. With a full taper and good start she’ll prob get it in Rio though 🙂


All this unbelievable stuff makes me to believe that there is a geophysical abnormality in Southen Hemisphere and Australian meter is shorter than the one used to measure American pools 🙂


Now only two tech suit records left in freestyle: at 50m and 200m. I wish everything gets clear in freestyle this year and we will forget about this absurdity of 2008-2009 rain of fake records.


Well said Yozhik


I’m pleasantly surprised with mcKeon’s 2:07.83 200 fly. It signals great endurance. It’s a pity she didn’t swim 200 free yesterday, I want to know what she’s got in store. As comparison, Worrell was 2:11.85 in the US trials final two days ago.

Craig Lord

Thanks asf. … and yes, 23.37 … wow


Thanks for that great write up. It’s a momentous occasion for the sport..


Great read Craig. Thanks.
Great swim Cate, I hope she comes home with 4 golds from Rio.
Mckeon has got good speed, adding good endurance for 200 free & also help her in the 100 fly. I expect McKeon to have a very strong Olympics.


Had to add my congrats to this historic performance. What we all wished we’d seen from Cate in the individual final 3 years ago. At last!

Fingers crossed in Rio she gets that extra .07 to blow the roof off.

Robert Traynor

Wow! What a pleasant surprise.

I’m not surprised that Cate broke the WR but that she broke it before the Olympics and after the Aussie trials. I didn’t even know there was a swim meet taking place in Brisbane.

This will certainly make the sports segment of Aussie TV news shows this evening.

The women’s 4×100 freestyle relay is sure looking good for the Dolphins in Rio.

kevin roose

i have said it for some time now Mckeon i expect this to be a defining break out meet for her …she is a key member of all 3 relays and will more than play her part ….
While i beleive Ledecky will win the 200 Mckeon will make her earn the gold …….

Personal Best

Aside from the WR (though, how can a WR be pushed aside?) – the great thing about this swim is that it’s a PB.
After getting soooo close on a number of occasions in 2016 (so close that it proved she was back to her best), a PB, and by this margin, after 3 years is exceptional.

She already showed that in the 50, so these times are the result of a lot of hard work.

I did have to do a double take when I saw that 52.06. Had to put it in perspective.
I had a strange feeling something significant was on the cards – her 24 flat 50 was a sign that she was taking her racing very seriously and was in great shape.


Aussie team to beat in women’s medley relay


Felix, its a pretty damned marginal advantage even with this WR by C1 ….we’re talking 0.22sec.

I’d say the advantage boils down to C1 herself, if she’s fit, healthy and firing and she has a deficit of around a second to make up then she has to be seen as a damned good bet to overhaul it. The question is whether her team mates ahead of her will leave her too far behind.

The prospects for AUS W4XMED will most probably revolve around whether Bohl & McKeon have had satisfactory meets and their confidence levels.

If that can both be answered in the affirmative then barring King blowing it completely apart on BRS leg; AUS may be favourites. If not, then its clear Adv USA


Mike Wenden had a pb of 51.7 from 1973 Worlds, lets hope Cate can get that time as well!


Sorry last comment is an error!

John Lohn

Felix, I fully agree that Aussie women team to beat in medley, albeit a tight event. The ability to put Cate Campbell on the end is something the U.S. cannot match, and not even close. That is daunting.


I think the mental aspect to put Cate in the end of 4×100 relay is terrifying for the other teams.I just wonder if she will blast a really nasty time like 50.99.


Don’t worry DDias, they won’t even notice how she passes them by, so fast it would be. Also it is very possible that she will be the first who takes the start at last leg. This relay will be boring to watch from the competition and drama point of view.


I love the relays. I think the W4X100 med will be the most closely contested. I agree with CW, much will depend whether she has too much a lead to catch. I think Bohl is a very good swimmer & will do well, it’s King who could just throw in a mind boggling swim is the big worry for the Aussies.

craig swanson

Could not be happier that Cate has consigned one of the supersuits records to history . The first I understand. They should never have been recognised and recorded once the supersuits were banned. An Aussie women finally holds the blue riband 100m world record once again. Yiiihaaa.

craig swanson

The Americans will once again be putting up a strong swimming team at Rio. Hats off to the great Mike Phelps for making yet another Olympics. Aussies greats Libby Lenton and Ian Thorpe both failed in their comebacks.


Craig Swanson,
Libby won gold in 2012 London in her comeback. I don’t know if you can call that a failure.

And Phelps’ retirement is not a retirement. Less than one year off is not retirement just because he announced it so.
There are many top swimmers who have taken sabbatical from swimming longer than that. Coughlin sabbatical from 2008 after Beijing to 2010 was longer than Phelps’ “retirement”.


Craig Swanson,
There are many if not most supersuited records that have been consigned to the bin, for example, women’s 200 IM last year by Hosszu.
But, it is also true that the women 100 free WR was regarded as one of the strongest ones as no one had been within one second of the WR.

craig swanson

@aswimfan. Perhaps I should have qualified my comment to FREESYLE supersuit records. Cate’s new 100m free wr is the only freestyle supersuit time to go other than Sun’s 1500 m and Katie Ledecky’s multiple times… but she is a freak.

craig swanson

@aswimfan. I was referring to Libby’s second comeback after her career ending wrist injury. Libby’s London Oly. gold medal was due to her being a member of the winning Aussie 4/100m relay squad of which she was not considered fast enough to make the final. Her best years were during the supersuit years.

craig swanson

should have read ” BEFORE her wrist injury”

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