Olympics-Swimming-Pandemic makes Games most unpredictable ever: Australia’s Campbell

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
FILE PHOTO: Swimming - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Women's 100m Freestyle - Final - Optus Aquatic Centre - Gold Coast, Australia - April 9, 2018. Bronte Campbell of Australia reacts. REUTERS/David Gray

July 14, 2021

(Reuters) – Australian freestyle swimmer Bronte Campbell is relishing her return to Olympic competition in Tokyo later this month and expects the Games to be more unpredictable than ever after the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out international events.

Campbell was part of Australia’s gold medal-winning 4x100m freestyle relay team in 2016 and will be taking part in her third Olympics at Tokyo.

“I think the lack of international competition means it is going to be more unpredictable than ever,” Campbell told News Corp media.

“I think it is going to make it one of the most exciting Olympics you have ever seen because so much can change in a year.

“We really don’t know what is going to happen in any given race, which is exactly how I like it.”

Campbell, a former 50m freestyle world champion, will swim in the relays in Tokyo and while the 2020 Olympics will be a Games like no other she said external factors mattered little when swimmers hit the water.

“It is always exciting when you walk into the arena for the first time and see the blocks and the water you are about to compete in – I love that more than anything, so I’m sure when the time comes we will all lift,” she said.

“At the end of the day the Olympics are just another swim meet, the water doesn’t change, the lanes don’t change, the distances we swim don’t change.

“In my experience every Olympics has been completely different from the one before it, I’m not sure there is very much the same that carries over, especially this time around.”

(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Peter Rutherford)