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Bronte Campbell swimming towards a break after Games

by ZwemZa on December 6th, 2017
Australian dual Olympian swimmer Bronte Campbell at the launch of the Australian Swims program in Sydney yesterday. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Australian dual Olympian swimmer Bronte Campbell at the launch of the Australian Swims program in Sydney yesterday. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Bronte Campbell appears to be held together with sticky tape, string and an iron will, and it is the latter that she will be relying on to carry her to a home Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next April.

Dual world champion Campbell, who won a gold medal with her sister Cate in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay at last year’s Rio Olympics, has been wrestling with ongoing shoulder problems for more than two years and conceded yesterday that she will need an extended break from the pool after the Gold Coast Games to give her body time to recuperate.

But she is determined to fight through the next four months to get the once-in-a-lifetime experience of competing at a Games in her home state.

“I have to get everything back to normal, so I’m going to Comm Games and then I’m having a big break and just doing rehab for maybe two or three months to try to get right,’’ Campbell said in Sydney yesterday.undefined

Australian swimming legends Leisel Jones and Ian Thorpe in Sydney yesterday with five-year-old Zac Bentley. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Her litany of injuries include “left shoulder and right shoulder and right hip and then after World Cups and all the travelling and sitting, it’s now my back.”

“I’m slowly falling apart, but we’re working hard to put it all back together and hopefully we’ll be right for Comm Games. I think that I can get through to there.’’

She has been encouraged by the example of her sister Cate, who took a year’s sabbatical after the Rio Olympics, and set a world record within months of returning to full-time training.

“It has been really beneficial for Cate,’’ the 24-year-old Campbell said. “It’s good to see that she’s been able to have a break and come back stronger than ever.

“I was hoping I could just keep going and battle through (to the Tokyo Olympics) but that’s not going to happen.’’

Instead she will focus on the Commonwealth Games trials (February 28-March 3) and the Games themselves (April 4-15).

“The whole of Queensland is gearing up for it, you can feel the energy already,’’ she said.

“It will be good for the next generation to see what a big swimming meet looks like and feel the excitement. It’s incredible when you are in the stadium and you can feel the energy all around you. I can’t wait for it.’’

Swimming Australia is also intent on inspiring the nation to get back into the water, yesterday launching a new initiative, Australian Swims, to encourage people to enjoy or rediscover swimming through a series of events around the country from January 20-28

Australia’s greatest swimmer Ian Thorpe said at the launch in Sydney that he appreciated his sport even more now that a chronic shoulder injury has prevented him from swimming.

Thorpe had surgery to repair his shoulder after it was broken in a car accident in Beijing in 2008 and said bodysurfing was the nearest he could get to swimming.

“I had to have muscles disconnected and reattached to different places, so I shouldn’t be swimming at all, I knew that before the surgery,’’ he said.

“I give it a go every couple of months, just to see if it’s improved and the answer is usually no. But I’m happy going down to the beach and catching a couple of waves because I get the feel. When I’m going down a wave, I get that feeling of swimming at speed.’’

He hopes to serve as a mentor to the Australian team on the way into the home Commonwealth Games, using his Sydney Olympics experience.

“I think some of us have the responsibility to give back to the team and give a bit of insight into what our experience was like,’’ he said. “That’s what I would like to do. I think swimming is on the up. There were some good results at world championships. “

Nicole Jeffery | The Australian

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