Australian Cate Campbell broke the 100m freestyle world record by .01 of a second on Saturday (video).
“People have been asking me when I was going to break a world record for the past three years,” Campbell told Australian media, “and honestly it wasn’t really on my mind, but every time I got in the pool it was like, ‘Will they stop asking me this question now?’ and now you will.”
Campbell, 24, swam 52.06 seconds in her final race before the Rio Olympics in Brisbane. She reset the world record previously held by German Britta Steffen, who clocked 52.07 at the 2009 World Championships, the height of the super-suit era.
She’s the first Australian to break an individual swimming world record in an Olympic event since Christian Sprenger in the 200m breaststroke at the 2009 World Championships, where 43 world records were set.
Campbell may be the Rio gold-medal favorite, but her younger sister, Bronte Campbell, is the reigning world champion. Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström took silver at worlds, relegating Cate Campbell to bronze in Kazan last year.
Cate Campbell made her Olympic debut at age 16 in Beijing, taking 50m free bronze behind Steffen and Dara Torres, who then was 41 years old.Follow @nzaccardi