Cate Campbell was slow off the blocks but flew home to win the women’s 100m freestyle final on day one of the 2019 Australian National Swimming Championships. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images
Cate Campbell was slow off the blocks but flew home to win the women’s 100m freestyle final on day one of the 2019 Australian National Swimming Championships. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images

Campbell drops Olympics bombshell

SHE jokes she needs a "senior's card" but Cate Campbell has declared she wants to swim on after next year's Tokyo Olympics and possibly to a fifth Games in Paris after winning the women's 100m freestyle at the national championships in Adelaide.

Campbell unleashed her signature fast start and led at the turn before holding off Emma McKeon and Shayna Jack in the back 50m to win in the time of 52.35 secs which was just outside her PB of 52.03 set at last year's Pan Pacs in Tokyo.

It was Campbell's 12th national title which she said gave her confidence given her preparation had been different to previous years with a world championships looming in South Korea in July.

"I've been doing this a long time, I'm 27 this year and am reaching senior level for swimmers," Campbell said.

"I need my senior's concession card to get my dinner, I feel like I should be able to cut the dinner lines … but I'm really pleased with my swim tonight and it was a really fast field.

"It's great for your confidence to be able to pull out a swim like that off a slightly different preparation than what we would normally do for a major competition, I love the pool and have some great memories here and that helps."

Cate Campbell is all smiles after winning the women’s 100m freestyle final. Picture: AAP Image/James Elsby
Cate Campbell is all smiles after winning the women’s 100m freestyle final. Picture: AAP Image/James Elsby

In a pre-race interview, Campbell revealed she plans to swim on after next year's Tokyo Olympics saying she's in a good space physically and mentally and is excited about the future of the sport including the new International Swimming League.

In other races on the opening night of the championships, Mitch Larkin won the men's 100m backstroke, Elijah Winnington the men's 400m freestyle and Abbey Harkin the women's 100m breaststroke and Kyle Chalmers won the men's 100m butterfly.

 

The reigning Olympic freestyle champion qualified fastest for the butterfly final and was second at the turn behind Matthew Temple but mowed him down on the way home and won in a PB of 52.07 secs.

Kyle Chalmers won the Men’s 100m butterfly final. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images
Kyle Chalmers won the Men’s 100m butterfly final. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images

"I do love racing, I could see Matt on my right and knew he was pretty close but I felt pretty strong in that last 15 minutes and it's always good to get your hand on the wall first.

"I like to have a race on day one and I wasn't going to do the 400m freestyle … it gives me some confidence and I swam well in NSW (at recent state championships) so hopefully tomorrow I can swim like I did tonight."

The men's 100m freestyle featuring Chalmers and Cameron McEvoy headlines day two action on Monday.