Cate Campbell botched her start but still edged out her younger sister Bronte to claim 50m freestyle gold at the national titles in Brisbane on Thursday night.
Records may be on the horizon for Cate Campbell but the champion swimmer claimed she was pursuing something much more special after clinching 50m freestyle gold at the national titles in Brisbane on Thursday night.
Campbell (24.18 seconds) edged out her younger sister Bronte (24.58) in a time that not only booked a Glasgow Commonwealth Games berth along with her sibling but also would have claimed London Olympic silver.
World 100m freestyle champion Cate Campbell had looked in sight of Libby Trickett’s national record (23.97) and perhaps even German Britta Steffen’s 23.73 world mark in a supersuit after scorching semi-final form in Brisbane.
However, a botched start derailed any hopes of her adding an entry in the record books.
Good thing she has a new life mantra.
“Everyone asks me, `are you chasing the world record?’” Cate Campbell said.
“And the answer is no. I am chasing perfection.
“And I think that is a great thing to chase because you can never achieve it. And that means you never stop trying to achieve it.
“There is always something to aim for.”
The Campbells also dared to dream of sharing a Glasgow podium after extending their sister act 50m quinella to a third straight national titles.
But it may cause more trouble than its worth on the home front.
“That would be great but for the sake of our parents I think they would rig it so we tied for first and don’t have to pick a favourite daughter,” Bronte Campbell laughed.
Bronte Campbell famously drew up a “contract” last year to stop her father Ron from talking to the media after hijacking a TV press conference when his daughters earned London Games selection, becoming swimming’s first Australian Olympian siblings in 40 years.
The contract sits in Bronte Campbell’s sock drawer, and she insists, is still binding.
“They are here and allowed to watch – they are just not allowed to talk about it,” Bronte Campbell laughed.
Cate Campbell also breathed a sigh of relief after clinching a team berth with the 100m still to come after being forced to withdraw from the Delhi 2010 Games due to illness.
Meanwhile, teenager Taylor McKeown (two minutes, 22.10 seconds) turned heads by clinching 200m breaststroke gold in a time that would have claimed 2013 world titles bronze.
The only Australian to have swum faster in the distance is the great Leisel Jones (2:20.54).
Meanwhile, Grant Irvine (1:56.23) defended his men’s 200m butterfly title by holding out Mitchell Pratt (1:57.00).
Christian Sprenger backed up from his 200m winning effort this week to clock a blistering 58.87 and win the 100m breaststroke title – just outside his 58.79 personal best that won the 2013 world title gold in Barcelona.
Sprenger said contesting a 100m-200m double at Glasgow and possibly Rio 2016 was “back on the table” after Thursday night’s effort which was shy of Brenton Rickard’s national record of 58.58 set in a supersuit.
Emily Seebohm claimed her seventh straight national 100m backstroke title in 58.92 – a time faster than her 2013 world titles silver medal winning effort and the world’s quickest in 2014.
And James Magnussen (47.83) looked in ominous form when he qualified fastest for Friday night’s 100m freestyle final in a semis time shy of his 2013 world title winning effort (47.71).