W4x100 Medley: Cate & Her Gold Gun 51.59 Bring Australia Home With A Bang

Cate Campbell, Emma McKeon, Lorna Tonks and Emily Seebohm of Australia [Photo: Ian MacNicol]

In the midst of a Games record of 3:56.23 for Australia ahead of a 3:57.03 British record matched for England, one split stood out above all: 51.59 for Cate Campbell. The swiftest split ever among women

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In the midst of a Games record of 3:56.23 for Australia ahead of a 3:57.03 British record matched for England, one split stood out above all: 51.59 for Cate Campbell. The swiftest split ever among women


Robert Traynor

I swear there were flames coming off Cate’s feet when she was rocketing down the home straight. That was fast. Real fast.

Bring on the Pan Pacs!


are you sure Cate opened only in 24.75???
If that split is true, we are near of a sub 52 than most think…


On the form-line of this meet, this race was going to be much closer than most thought going into this meet.

Seebohm on B+ form; ENG with a 1sec gap on BRS, O’Connor having a stormer of a meet and ahead of top AUS flyer. The difference would be C1.

So it panned out. What “reads” can we take from this race ? CAN was competitive for the first 3 legs but 55sec swimmer on anchor legs just doesn’t cut it internationally and until they can find one it will be outer lanes at major champs at best.

Will look at this from a GBR perspective. Georgia Davies at 59.69 certainly closes things up. Sophie Taylor’s split was on par with all bar USA for this leg. O’Connor had a stormer of a meet but she may’ve been “running on empty” as McKeon took the best part of a second out of her. Halsall’s 52.58 IS the real business internationally but she was up against someone at an entirely different level. Looking forward, maybe Davies can take a step further and O’Connor improve her leg with experience so there is the potential to challenge for medals at the big meets.

AUS has been top 3 in this event for the past decade, and top dog for much of that time. Where do they really stand at this point in time ? Seebohm at best is the no2-3 100 BK in the world but she can be erratic in relays and it was B+ (just good enough) Seebohm at this meet. BRS is the issue; from years where Jones was the leg that set up their advantage, this is the leg where they can haemorrhage 3-4 seconds. Tonks was brave but what we’ve seen from her at this meet is prob as good as it gets …. and that’s NOT competitive at the top level. AUS needs to find some young talent or Pickett to step up to the plate over 100. Fly – Coutts may return to form or she may step out of the sport but McKeon’s leg was certainly up to par internationally. C1 is certainly the ace in the pack (maybe C2 may threaten that spot) but at this point, it looks like it’s chase from behind to snag the minors.

Craig Lord

DDias – yes, that’s correct ….24.75 … by then 0.41sec ahead of Fran… the turn was extremely good –


If Campbell only split 24.75 in the relay on her way to 51.5, then she IS in the form to break Steffen’s 52.05
Last year in Barcelona she split 24.8 on her way to 52.34

Maybe the pressure got to Cate in that 100 free final.


So Campbell came home in 26.44??
That is sick.

This could provide blueprint pacing for Campbell to take down the WR and go under 52:
25.30 – 26.60 for 51.90


OOpsss… my math is so off today.

Campbell came home in 26.84

Maybe she could pace 25.10 – 26.85 for 51.95



Maybe when Taylor mcKeown gets older and stronger, she may have 1:06 flat in her and solves Australia problem.
Rebecca Soni and Yuliya Efimova were mostly 200 swimmers before getting faster sprints.

Bad Anon

Aussie women desperately need a 1.05 breastroker to give the Americans a good fight….


The women’s medley relay will be Interesting in the coming years… The US look far and away the best.

Australia – Breaststroke is the obvious weakness, but Seebohm is key. She is the advantage Australia will need over GBR/CHN/JAP going into the middle of the race.

GBR – If Quigley or Davies can step up and deliver us a 59 low 100 backstroke leg, we’re in with a shout. Taylor has untapped potential. She will swim 65 low by Rio and I wouldn’t be shocked to see her go 64 high. O’Connor is worth a lot more than her 57.9 last night – Foundation is there for a very good relay.


Though the Americans have their issues. Either Dana Vollmer has to make a full recovery from injury or Claire Donahue or one of the kids has to take it to the next level. And since the rotating international team coaches don’t seem to have much confidence in Jessica Hardy (see how she’s been placed or not on relays the last few years) they also need to find a back-up to pleasant surprise Breeja Larson.


Commonwombat it was Quigley not Welshwoman Davies on the back leg for England. Although it does bring up the point that the UK has two solid options on the lead off depending on who’s firing at the time.


The Danish women will probably be strong for 2016 too..

Blume is 53,69 by now, Mie is 59 low, Rikke Pederson can probably be 1:05 breast and Ottesen is probably the strongest flyer of the teams who got medal chance.. they might be the ones who will be the biggest threat to US



My worry with the Danish women, one of them gets an injury or has a bad meet, they’re completely screwed and probably wont even bother swimming like in 2013.

Britain are their European threats – Denmark are nearly 2s faster on paper, but they’re relying on all their women being on form and firing. They need some back up swimmers in place for Rio, because if one of those ladies misfires or gets Injured (Like Mie in 2013) then they are screwed. Well and truly screwed. It’s a precarious position to be in, In my opinion. Two years out from Rio, I’d feel safer putting money on the Australians, Japanese, Chinese or British teams.

If all four are fit and in form, wow, what a great squad… but the chances are one of those ladies will not be in the form they are right now next year or in two years time, it just doesn’t work like that – Athletes miss tapers, they get Ill or Injured, they lose their ‘mojo’… these four ladies aren’t Immune to that. Denmark need ‘good’ back up swimmers desperately.


On the other hand, the Dutch 4×100 free relay women had a pretty magnificent five year run, with only that one off year when 3 of 4 were all out from injury/illness/pregnancy at the same time.


Keith, I DID preface my comments by saying I was taking an overall GBR perspective. Quigley was the ENG back leg but Davies was the fastest GBR leg in the race. Davies is the one who IS currently sub minute; Quigley’s not there yet.

Dee (re Taylor); Whilst we can HOPE for further improvements, we cannot KNOW that they will definitely do so …. and over what period of time. It would be great for GBR is she does but it’s no given thing. History tells us that for some competitors, this will be a stepping stone for greater things whilst for others it will that one brief shining moment of their careers.

Aswimfan; AUS swimming will no doubt HOPE McKeown continues to progress … over both distances. Am judging on what’s on the table at present.

With the US; on three legs they are ahead or at minimum par with the strongest on those legs (not nec in the indiv event but agst the nations fielding competitive relays). Their weak leg (FS) is basically par or better against all bar AUS. All others have at least one leg where they haemorrhage major time to the strong teams on that leg.

At this point, the GBR best team is solid. Their strongest on each leg are, at this point, finalist contenders although it will be interesting whether Halsall will stick to her intention of concentrating on 50m.

Personal Best

I think McKeon and Groves will be the ones to take fly for Australia.
Alicia Coutts may have been ill these games (or so it’s said) but she is not planning on swimming past 2016 and I think could be overtaken anyway by her team mates in that time.
There are some up and coming breaststrokers for Australia but I don’t know if it’s anyone who swam the 100 at Glasgow.


They most certainly look the most likely, PB. Groves, at least to date, has probably been more prominent over 200 but will be interesting to see how she trends over next 12 months at least. Given C1 & 2 seem to have a “lock” on the individual 100FS spots, it will be interesting to see if McK starts putting more attention to the 100fly. Coutts MAY return to top form and an intl force in at least some events but I totally concur Rio will be IT in any case.

Re BRS, McKeown has been the only new name in the leading ranks of AUS W in this stroke and her prominence to date is over 200. Over 100, the only other who’s swam below 1.08 is Marshall and she’s been around since 2008 trials and she hasn’t progressed in recent years.


That’s my point, beachmouse – Look what happened to the Dutch when it all went pear-shaped. 2010 & 2011 were weak for them, only Euro Bronze in 2010 remember. So you had 08, 09 and 12 that were diamond years for those four ‘Dutch Divas’ – while 10 & 11 were years to forget…


I said the same about Ruta (when she was 12/13 and nobody had heard of her)… If Taylor keeps her head down, she will swim at least a full second faster than she did this week in Glasgow. My only concern is that moving down to train in London, she may become side-tracked with her education etc.


Dee, I hope you may be proven correct but you just can’t know. From my 30+ years of following the sport closely; have seen countless swimmers (not just Aussies) who’ve been selected for CG/Olympics and have a breakout performance that promises an even brighter future. They are then never heard of again …. or if they continue in the sport they stagnate/fail to progress.

You can’t know what the future is going to be; life is made up of too many uncertainties be they health/injury/education priorities/personal issues. I will agree with you with regards to changes of scenery/coaches etc. They are another uncertainty. NCAA is prob the greatest case in point; for all the proclaimed success stories there are just as many for whom it’s a retrograde step due to cultural issues/personal chemistry or just the “wrong program for them”.


Many thought the Dutch ladies would win 4×100 free in London.
I had already predicted the aussies to take the win by considering that the Dutch ladies all had to fire and that the aussies had so much depth.
Turned out I was right. Inge Dekker had an off swim and the wheels off for them


Like everyone has said, Australia needs to really build on the breaststroke leg to be worthy of a gold medal internationally. Leiston Pickett in the past (and I mean the PAST) was a potential swimmer Jones could pass the baton to as our breaststroke star. But injury and consistent poor form has made her (IMO) a swimmer who simply fills a spot. Hunter was hot in the 200m, so I thought she would have a fantastic 100m – but obviously 200m was more her focus. Looking at Pan Pacs and seeming as the 100m is up on day 2, before the 200m, I believe we will see a much better time from Hunter – she could possibly earn a relay berth. McKeown is the swimmer who I can see and most possibly rely on atm to deliver when going gets tough. Ideally, she should have swam the heats of the medley relay, not Hunter.

People are talking about Groves being the butterfly star – but again, IMO, she failed to impress compared to McKeon. McKeon went on to set new pb times, Groves didn’t. To be gold medal faves, they need at least a 56.5 split. I believe McKeon will have a new found love for the fly after winning bronze and being selected for medley relay duties.


I agree Aswim, that’s the danger for the Danish – One off performer and they’re not contending for the medals.

No Nielsen – who steps in? 1.02 at a big push.
No Pedersen – Who steps in? 1.09 at best.
No Ottesen – Who steps in? 59 at best.
No Blume – Who steps in? 55 at best.

As I keep saying, I’d not be betting on that 2 years out from an Olympics.



I know where you are coming from, and in all rational circles you are 100%, I agree with you. Sophie Taylor has proven every time when asked, she can step up. Euro Juniors, Improved pb from 33.2 to 31.6 and a bronze medal. World Juniors, Improved pb from 1.08.2 to 1.07.3 and a silver medal. Commonwealths, Improved pb from 1.07.0 to 1.06.3 and a gold medal.

Her Improvement is coming at the ‘right’ age for a breaststroker. For young female breaststrokers, it’s usually when those hips (and other things) start to appear that damage their progress. Taylor is a beautiful build for swimming breaststroke – Broad back, strong shoulders, narrow at the hip and strong legs. She has the mental strength, too – as proven numerous times (World/Euro Juniors, bouncing back after her 50m free disappointment this week). I just feel, looking at how her build and her rate of Improvement, she has the potential to swim very fast in the coming years. I just hope she can keep her head in the sport.

I accept your point though, one can never be sure of anything in sport.

Just Me

Off that smoking split by Cate in the medley relay what can that 4×100 free relay do?

If cate can reproduce that split (51.5 compared to 52.1), Bronte produce the time she did in the individual 100 free (52.8 compared to 53.1), Schlanger swim her heat time in the final (52.4 compared to 52.7) and McKeon swim her race without a 100 fly and 200 free beforehand (improve 52.9)…that’s a minimum of 1.2s faster if they call just reproduce their best swims from this week.

We could be looking at a sub 3:30 if they can all fire at the same time….that would be incredible. Will we see it at Pan Pacs when the girls have someone there to race and push them?

Can’t wait to find out!


At this point; given that all four seem to be firing or at least swimming well; they have to be considered the team to beat. US did pip them at 2013 Worlds but C2 has taken 2 steps forward since then and Schlanger is a change-up from Coutts. Furthermore there seems to be good chemistry and a desire to go further.

We will know more after US Nationals but on individual times posted in recent times; the US has considerable ground to make up. We may have grounds to reassess post Nationals but on their lifetime LCM bests to date, they have no one who’s threatened to break 53. Their bests are essentially on par with AUS 3rd/4th ‘seeds’ who are a tick below 53mid. The WR set by AUS MAY act as a catalyst for a step-up by US in this area but it’s a very distinct gap to close.

As it stands at the moment, there appears a distinct gap to anyone else where it resembles a rugby scrimmage for 3rd money. Ranomi may return and Heemskerk is still good but the other NED legs are a distinct drop-off. The same problem bedevils SWE who has a major gun in Sjoestrom & another strong performer in Coleman but the rest are 55 swimmers. ENG swim in Glasgow actually puts GBR into this mix.

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