Sport ‘Everything is on the line’: Bronte Campbell revels in stress of Olympic trials

‘Everything is on the line’: Bronte Campbell revels in stress of Olympic trials

Australian swim star Bronte Campbell concedes Tokyo will "most likely" be her last Olympic Games. Photo: AAP
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Bronte Campbell is revelling in the stress.

The Australian swimmer says Tokyo will “probably, most likely” be her last Olympics.

But first, she has to make the team at the selection trials in Adelaide starting June 12.

“The trials are very, very stressful,” Campbell told AAP on Thursday.

“My body is holding together, it has had a pretty good run for the last six months … (but) I have been walking wounded for five years now.

“But trials are going to be very exciting. Everything is on the line.

“The stress doesn’t go away, you just get a lot better at sitting in it and trying to enjoy it as well because … this is probably, most likely, going to be my last Olympics.

“And for me, looking at the next few little trials that I have got to go through, I have got to enjoy them a bit because once they’re done, they’re done.

“There’s a finite number left for me now … so I’m going to try and enjoy it.”

The 27-year-old will keep swimming after the Tokyo Games. But the Paris Olympics in 2024?

“I just don’t see myself going another three years all the way to Paris,” she said.

Campbell features in a fascinating documentary, Head Above Water, which premieres exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.

The warts-and-all four-part series follows Campbell, Kyle Chalmers, Olympic wannabe Cody Simpson and retired great Ian Thorpe ahead of the Tokyo Games, which were postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The postponement was tough to take because I had just been dragging myself through a bunch of injuries and I had been in a lot of pain and training through a lot of pain,” Campbell said.

“And to have it postponed was sort of like ‘that was all for nothing, why did I go through all of that for nothing?’

“But the other side of that was I got given this gift of a year … getting the time to rehab my shoulder properly and let things settle.”

At the trials, the dual Olympian acknowledged her challenge to earn an individual berth in her pet event, the 100m freestyle.

Her compatriots – sister Cate and Emma McKeon – have clocked the fastest times this year in the event, with the top two at the trials selected.

“I have got to find a way to beat at least one of them,” she said.

“Some people think the 100 freestyle for Australian swimmers is the hardest event to qualify for in the world at the moment – and that can be a downside.

“But the upside is that no one else has had international competition really for the last year, and I have got the best international competition you could possibly have in my backyard.

“So I just know that whoever qualifies … they have fought very, very hard for it and they are going to be well primed when the Olympics come around.”

-AAP