Queens Of Consistency: Cate Campbell & Sizzling Sis Bronte Lead The Charge

Third placed Cate (L) and winner Bronte Campbell of Australia
Cate, left, and Bronte Campbell shared podiums in the 100m and 4x100m free finals at world titles in 2015 - in Rio they will chase history - by Patrick B. Kraemer

After we started our month-long countdown to racing in Rio with a look at some of the most significant swims of Olympic season so far on the clock, we turn our attention to consistency; the rate at which contenders stack up quality efforts in the top 10, top 20 and top 25 performances. In the series so far:…

Want to read more? Our Basic subscription package allows you to access
to all articles barring specific content for Premium and Business
members. Select which service best suits you. Thank you for your
support of independent journalism and quality coverage of world-class swimming.

Log In Register

After we started our month-long countdown to racing in Rio with a look at some of the most significant swims of Olympic season so far on the clock, we turn our attention to consistency; the rate at which contenders stack up quality efforts in the top 10, top 20 and top 25 performances. In the series so far:… […]



Hopefully my vision from 2008 will turn out to be real and Cate take the 50-100 double. I want nothing more.

Well.. a WR in 50 would be nice. If it happens, I expect to happen in the semi.


Olympic records are 24.05 and 53.00

I agree, there’s very good chance the OR will fall in the prelims. At least the 100 OR will.


Predictions for the both:

50m free:
(1) C. Campbell 23.8
(2) R. Kromorwidjojo 23.9 low
(3) F. Halsall 24.0

100m free:
(1) C. Campbell 52.2
(2) S. Sjostroem 52.4
(3) B. Campbell 52.7

Those are predicted final times. Fully agree that the WR’s and even more so the OR’s will fall at some stage, but unlikely in finals.

Have a feeling Sjoestroem and Bronte may not fire on all cylinders in the 50, which will allow Ranomi and Fran to sweep the other medals. I’ll be the first person to say that my predictions, certainly in the 50, could end up being entirely off! Best of luck to Fran the pocket rocket!


I hope Halsall will medal in 50, too.
I felt sorry for her in London, I really think she deserve 50 free Olympics medal, and it is especially annoying to think that someone like Herasimenia* has a couple of Olympics silvers.


Re ORs, I think we’ll be waiting for the semis in the 100 but I think you’d be looking at fairly short priced odds with the 100.

As to the Campbells, beneath that most effective “charm offensive”, these ladies have proven over the last 4 years to be very tough competitors when it comes to big time competition.

The one “fly in the ointment” is the fact that both of them tend to be rather fragile with regards to illness & injury which impinged on both in London & have impacted each of them at various points over the past Olympic cycle.

All 2016 evidence is “green light all the way” with regards to fitness & form for C1 this year and she has to be seen as prohibitive favourite in both events CONTINGENT on staying healthy through to the end of the meet.

Fully fit, C2 is probably big sister’s primary threat over 100 & still should be in the medal mix but her 2016 has been interrupted by both illness/injury and its far from certain she will be right at the top of her game.

Her 50PB is slower than the other peak contenders and whilst fully fit, she may’ve threatened the 24sec barrier; this looks far less certain given her less than ideal preparation. Therefore see her more as an outside medal chance at 50 than a leading contender.

As to the W4X100, some people are salivating about the WR being obliterated given the 2 sub53s at AUS Trials and C1’s recent WR. Given both Campbells arriving as fit & healthy as possible, its hard to see this relay being beaten except via their own misadventure.

Therefore, I think it will be “drummed into them” to play it conservative with all changes. It will be interesting to see the order and where they place their “weakest” link (Elmslie a 53mid). Will they place her off the gun or place one of the Campbells first to potentially blow it all apart at the start ?


Have no real issue with GB’s predictions in either event, especially the order. Times ?? Maybe open to discussion with the 100 but neither are they “way out there”.

kevin roose

The womens relay will be Mckeon giving clear water to Elmslie then Bronte and Cate the final leg …….if fit and healthy the world record will go , Cate, Bronte and Emma all going sub 53 at the trials .

kevin roose

If Bronte is at the top of her game she will swim faster than Halsall for the bronze in the 50 ……
Agree with G.B in the 100..

kevin roose

Cam Mcevoy announced that he has pulled out of the individual 200 free , it has been given to David Mckeon who is doing the 400 …….
Mckeon has been ordinary away from home well now he gets his chance in 2 individual races…..
Smart move by Mcevoy now gives him a day off after the 4 x 100 free relay before he takes on the 4 x 200 free relay and the 100 free heats and semi same day …..



The one thing to remember about C2 is that she is a proven Big time performer.
Her record since 2013 shows that she ALWAYS swam faster times both 50 and 100 free in the major championships, compared to her Aus trials/national champs, which is something that no other female sprinters can do.

So watch out for her. She can shock everyone the way she did last year.


ASF, duly acknowledged and I’m probably as big a fan of her as you are. I’m happy to accede that she can “dig deep enough” to be at least at Trials level despite a rough year. This should be good enough for a medal in the 100 & a 52low relay split.

Where I may diverge from you is that I’m less certain that she will necessarily be able to be in PB shape. When it comes to the 50, she’s realistically needing that to medal. Fully fit & firing, I’d give her every chance …. just not sure she’ll be quite there on the evidence we’ve seen so far PLUS the scope of the improvement required.

I would, however, be incredibly happy to be proven wrong.


Given the stature of this AUS relay, its very obvious that many are wanting ” a piece of the action” so it will be curious to see what the heats line-up will be.

Elmslie is the sole “relay only” selection so she is locked in for at least one swim. McKeon will have had 100fly heats so she may be rested. C1 will almost certainly be ….. C2 probably although they may want to get her engine ticking over.

Both Seebohm & Wilson are 53high flat starts so they look likely candidates. Looks to be between Coutts, Ngawati or Barratt for a last spot.

NED, SWE & CAN have little/zero scope for substitution leaving USA as the only other team left juggling selections.

kevin roose

In kazan 3 of the heat swimmers being Barret ,Wilson and Wright did not go in the final ……
i suspect Cate , Bronte and Emma will be rested with Elmslie possibly if she holds her form in the heat getting the 4th final berth ….


It depends who’s in best form to swim the prelims.
Cate and Emma will definitely not swim the prelims.
But Bronte may even swim the prelims if the coaches really want to ensure a middle lane.


ASF, that’s my thinking. She’s also had an interrupted preparation and she’s been short of racing post Trials (skipping events at both Japan Open & Brisbane GP).

kevin roose

Bronte is fine she posted 24.47 in the 50 free at the Grand Prix day one .
Then stayed in bed day two with the flu ….
Bronte wont swim the heat she will be saved for the final …..world record beckoning ….

Craig Lord

No pressure then, Kevin 🙂 World records happen when they happen and in history that’s meant once when gold and WR coincided in the dash: 1992, Yang Wenyi and all that… I’m sure Bronte, Cate and anyone else in with a shot would be happy to be on the podium – and beyond delighted with gold, whatever the clock reads …


Dunno if there’s gonna be 4×100 WR. Remember that McKeon will have swum 100 fly semi.


ASF, I tend to second Craig’s view. The scoreboard & the recordsheet doesn’t care whether you win “ugly” or indeed HOW you win; just as long as you have that 1 against your name/team.

Barring a situation where they are minus one of the Campbell’s; they have sufficient leeway that they don’t realistically have to take any risks with change-overs (remember they cut one very fine in Kazan) so I’d expect the message would be “play it as safe as possible”

kevin roose

My point about a world record beckoning is down to the immense talent that the two Campbell sisters and Mckeon have over 100 metres ……
In particular Cates recent world record ……..
Elmslie will be no mug either and i just think there is enough arsenal to smash the record ….
It would be a great start to what i beleive globally will be a very competative swim competition ….


One of the benefits of swimming C2 in the prelims is not only to get a middle lane, but to qualify for final at all!
Remember that some relay favorites in the past did not qualify to the final because they did’t swim any of their top swimmers in the prelims!
Remember that in Rio with the exception of Australia and USA, all other countries will certainly swim their top 4 sprinters in the prelims.

Craig Lord

Yes: it should be a fine and fascinating first day, Kevin. I just meant the win is the win and that’s what they’ll be aiming for, by each doing the best they can on the day, that being the primary goal that delivers the ones we all like to talk and speculate about 🙂 … if a record falls it falls and the bonus is in the bag.


Whether we like it or not, all our prognostications can only be based on what we THINK will happen and/or what we think are the most likely outcomes given the facts before us.

Every event will be its own story in itself; some will run (more or less) according to script whereas others will see that script torn up and tossed in the bin ….. if only we knew which ones they’ll be Lol.

People WILL hit career highs, others will be good but not great whilst others will “fold”. Again some of these WILL be predictable but others will come as shocks given their international CVs & previous Olympic experience.

As to the Campbell storyline; the previous two Olympics were not 100% kind to C1 albeit her stature in the sport at these times was nowhere near what has become over the past cycle.

Given her physical fragility, I’m more than a little doubtful she will go another complete cycle so this is likely to be her last (and best) shot at crowning her career. If there is such a thing as justice, she should leave Rio with at least 1 individual gold. Four is certainly plausible but the 50free looks more competitive than the 100 and the W4XMED could go either way.


As for C2, I think the prospects are higher for another Olympic cycle than those for big sister. Then again, she too shares the tendency for fragility on both illness/injury fronts.

Fully fit, she IS potentially big sister’s nearest threat over the 100. Her 50 PB IS the slowest of the 5 lead contenders but again, fully fit, I would be reasonable to suggest this would also take a dive.

The issue is that this does not appear a likely scenario given the level of interruption to her 2016 season where her only real competitive outings (performance wise) have been Super Series at the start of the year & AUS Trials where she was near PB at 100 but some way off over 50.

She IS tough and has proven herself in major competition but there has to be some doubt that she will be “optimal” Bronte in Rio. Being an unabashed C2 fan, I do hope that we can/do see “optimal” Bronte.

My read is a likely 3 medals, 2 being relay. One likely gold

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!