Monday, November 19, 2018 10:02:45 AM
Australia's on-fire Cate Campbell says she still considers herself an underdog going into the Rio Olympics despite smashing the long-standing women's 100m freestyle world record.
The 24-year-old blitzed the field at the Brisbane Grand Prix on Saturday evening to touch in 52.06 seconds, narrowly beating the 52.07 mark set by German Britta Steffen in Rome in 2009 during the high-tech supersuit era.
Despite her ominous form, Campbell, whose sister Bronte is one of her main rivals and best friends, said she was taking nothing for granted when asked if she was the one to beat in Brazil.
"No, I don't think I'll take that tact," she said.
"I swim best when I think of myself as the underdog and that's how I'll continue to see myself."
Campbell reflected on one of her favourite movies "Cool Runnings" to explain her approach to the Olympics.
"There is a really great quote in there from the coach and it says: 'A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without it, you will never be enough with it', and I think that's something I really need to take to heart," she said.
"I have achieved incredible things and an Olympic gold medal would be the absolute pinnacle for me but I have to make sure that I'm OK if that doesn't happen."
The Campbell sisters headline a 34-strong Australian swim team heading to Rio, with several ranked world number one on current form.
Cate had already notched an impressive win over her sister, the reigning world 100m freestyle champion, in the 50m freestyle on Friday.
She had shoulder surgery in late 2014 which left her not fully fit at last year's world championships in Kazan, Russia when she claimed bronze behind Bronte.
But in April, Cate edged her to win an epic 100 metres freestyle final at the Australian Championships and Olympic trials in Adelaide.
Speaking about her performance on Saturday she said: "I put together as near a perfect race as I can, and I think that if I can continue to do that then I'll be happy with whatever happens in Rio.
"I race really well when I'm happy and settled. I've been working with a sports psychologist about how to control those nerves because they do get quite out of control."
Campbell is one of the nation's first individual world-record breakers since the drag-reducing, muscle-supporting polyurethane supersuit era.
The sport's governing body FINA outlawed the suits in 2010 following a storm of criticism after world records tumbled at the 2009 world championships.