Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Bronte Campbell says being forced to take a step back from her regular routine due to Covid-19 has only strengthen the fire in her belly to pursue her goal of competing at Tokyo next year.
Speaking to Gerard Whateley on 1116 SEN during the week, the 25-year-old highlighted her desire to get back in the water and train hard in the hope of making her third Australian Olympic Team.
“Taking a break from training for me just reiterates how much I want to do it, how much I love it,” Campbell said.
“When you are in it, you tend to complain about it and when it is taken away you tend to appreciate it a bit more.”
When the news came through that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had been postponed late last month – after weeks of speculation – Campbell said her overwhelming feeling was “relief”.
“It was definitely the right call and I was really relieved it came through when it did. It was good to have that certainty that it wasn’t going ahead,” she said.
“I think because there was a lot of uncertainty building up to it and I couldn’t actually see them going ahead, it got me thinking that they might just cancel them and it would be another four years until the next one. That would have been devastating as I am not sure I would do another four years, but I can make myself do another year, that is foreseeable.”
Training under long-time coach Simon Cusack at Knox Pymble, the Dolphin leader’s ambition leading up to next year’s pinnacle event is to qualify for the Women’s 100m Freestyle – which she knows will be incredibly hard with the talent in Australia.
“For a long time, my goal has been to qualify for the 100m freestyle. Firstly, to qualify in Australia is incredibly tough as we have Cate (Campbell) and Emma McKeon – that’s three out of the top five freestyle swimmers in the world which is incredible.
“My ultimate goal is to make the 100m Olympic final and swim my best time in that final. There are very few people that end up swimming their best time in an Olympic final so to be able to do that would be incredible. It sounds very simple, but it ends up being a very lofty goal, so to have something very concrete to focus on is great for me.”
Regularly battling it out in the lanes with her sister Cate, Campbell says the two ride the highs and lows with each other, recognising if one succeeds, the other – while proud of their sibling – also feels a sense of disappointment.
“You have to confront it, it is right there in black and white,” Campbell said.
“If I win a race it means Cate can’t. So, you definitely have to confront it and make peace with it – it is acknowledging that our sport and our enjoyment of it is more than just one moment, it is more than just one race and more than just one year.
“It is also acknowledging that there are peaks and troughs and just because someone is shining doesn’t mean you won’t get a chance and it doesn’t mean that you don’t get to enjoy that for them.
“If you take the fact that we are competing out of it, if you had a brother or a sister and you saw them win an Olympic gold or world championship, you would watch them and be so incredibly proud of them.”
To listen to the full chat with Gerard Whateley, click here.
All images courtesy of Ryan Pierse, Getty Images.