Breaking A World Record By Finishing Last?

Cate Campbell

Sprint queen Cate Campbell created history in Sydney when she became the first woman to crack 51 seconds for 100m freestyle in the final of the 200m event on a record-breaking final night of the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Swimming Championships in Sydney.

Campbell told her competitors in the marshaling room at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre just minutes before the race that she would only swim the first 100 metres – and only her coach Simon Cusack and a handful of coaches knew the plan.
When she split 24.20 at the 50m mark even National head coach Jacco Verhaeren knew “something was on” and all eyes were on lane six as the long, fluid strokes of the 2013 world champion ploughed through the water.
Then she stopped, touched the wall at the 100m mark and looked around to see her time of 50.91 – 0.10 faster than Australian Olympic gold medalist Libby Trickett had swum in 2008 with her 51.01 –as Emma McKeon continued through the next 100m to set a new Commonwealth record for the 200m of 1:51.66.

“It is my first individual world record, I can’t believe that just happened,” Campbell told a stunned press corps.

“It doesn’t really feel real, especially because I came dead last by about 25m, so I think it is pretty unique to get a world record and finish dead-last in your race."

All-in-all there were 20 records broken that night – one world, five Commonwealth, six Australian and eight Australian All-Comers and records set on the final night but Campbell's record was by far the most unique!

Read about the competition here:


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