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Trials herald start of new era for Australian swimming

April 25, 2013
Cate and Bronte Campbell in the pool during warm up day at the Australian Swimming Championships. Picture: Simon Cross Source: The Courier-Mail

Cate and Bronte Campbell in the pool during warm up day at the Australian Swimming Championships. Picture: Simon Cross Source: The Courier-Mail

Nobody could put the current plight of Australian swimming more succinctly than Cate Campbell.

“There’s been a lot of words the last few weeks but it’s time for our actions to speak now,” Olympic relay gold medallist Campbell says.

“Getting down to what athletes do best, letting actions speak louder than words.

“Too many words (lately). It will be great for us to showcase all the hard work we’ve been doing.

“We only get to swim fast twice a year so this is one of those shots.”

Today marks a new beginning for the Australian swim team. It is the first major competition since the worst Olympic campaign in 20 years sparked mass changes in and out of the water.

Last year’s president, chief executive and head coach are gone.

Six relay team members have been punished for an infamous Stilnox bonding session and enormous soul-searching has been done to help reunite a team whose culture was branded toxic.

When the world titles selection trials begin today, the swimming results will be the topic of discussion as the swimmers show how much they’ve learnt from 2012.

“There’s no shame in admitting that we made mistakes, there is shame in not saying that we learnt from them and not moving on,” Campbell said.

“We are moving on.

“That’s the important thing.”

It’s going to be a big task for the swimmers simply to make the Australian team for the Barcelona world titles. All but one individual event has a faster qualifying time than was required to make last year’s Olympic team, with the prospect of up to five events going unfilled by Australians if they have not improved on last year.

Campbell should have no problems. Her 53.33sec 100m freestyle time at a Brisbane meeting in March would have won Olympic silver last year.

Despite her hot form she refused to predict what she could achieve in Adelaide.

“I set personal goals and they’re personal for a reason,” she said.

heraldsun

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