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Swimming Campbells’ dad vows to keep mum

May 2, 2013
Cate and Bronte Campbell (abc.net.au)

Cate and Bronte Campbell (abc.net.au)

A piece of paper in a sock draw has become just as prized as the world titles team sheet to Australian swimming’s Campbell sisters.

Cate and Bronte Campbell “achieved a dream” at the national titles in Adelaide after together booking selection for July’s world championships in Barcelona.

But that’s not the only reason they are breathing easier.

After being embarrassed by their colourful father Eric at last year’s national titles, aspiring lawyer Bronte Campbell did her best to ensure there was no repeat by drawing up a contract.

“Bronte made him sign it. It says something like ‘to the best of my ability I will not embarrass my daughters on national television’,” Cate Campbell said on Thursday.

“She left a small margin of error by writing to the best of his ability.

“But it is signed and it sits in her sock draw. He’s sworn off any interviews for the time being.”

That may provide relief for the Campbell sisters but little comfort for media at the national titles in Adelaide.

Last year they struck gold when an ecstatic Eric Campbell hijacked the TV press conference after his daughters earned London Games selection, becoming swimming’s first Australian Olympian siblings in 40 years.

“We had to keep saying to ourselves that it’s not over ’til the fat lady sings and Colette Rickard (Olympic breaststroker Brenton Rickard‘s mother) was behind me and she was the fat lady and she was singing out 1-2 – I mean that in the best way and Colette will know that,” Eric said of their 50m freestyle finish.

On and on he went as his daughters thrust their red faces in their hands.

Cate Campbell on Thursday said their parents had promised to remain in hometown Brisbane for the nationals this year.

Still, some would not have been surprised by a flying visit from Eric after the Campbells’ heroics in Adelaide.

The sisters booked 100m freestyle individual and relay team spots together for Spain on Wednesday night.

Cate Campbell, 20, clocked a time that would have claimed 2012 gold (52.92 seconds) to ensure her maiden 100m national title.

And Bronte, 18, was second (53.85) in a field boasting six Olympic gold medallists.

They impressed again in the 50m freestyle semis on Thursday night.

Cate clocked 24.38 – a time that would have claimed London Games bronze – to be top qualifier ahead of Bronte (4th; 25.14).

ninesman

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