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Comeback queen makes splash in Brisbane

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Cate Campbell
Cate Campbell

From Ninemsn's Wide World of Sports:

Comeback queen makes splash in Brisbane

Laine Clark 23:52 AEST Mon Dec 13 2010

In a stirring return to the pool, Olympic bronze medallist Cate Campbell claimed the 50 metres freestyle title at the Queensland swimming championships in Brisbane on Monday night - five months after fears her career may be over.

And the 18-year-old capped her comeback with a win over none other than the girl who had succeeded her as Australia's sprint queen, Yolane Kukla.

Campbell clocked 25.23 seconds to touch out 15-year-old Kukla (25.47), the reigning Commonwealth Games champion.

Simply hitting the pool again was a victory for Campbell.

Alarm bells were ringing after she withdrew from the Australian team in July with a fatigue-related illness, ensuring she missed both the Pan Pacs and the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Battling post viral fatigue since February, doctors warned her that she needed to take a complete break from the sport or risk being diagnosed with the potentially career-ending chronic fatigue syndrome.

Times on Monday night were almost one and a half seconds outside Libby Trickett's meet record due to Campbell's recent return to the pool and Kukla's heavy training load.

But Campbell's effort was still an encouraging first step on the comeback trail ahead of April's national selection trials.

Meanwhile, another comeback queen - Stephanie Rice - was forced to take a back seat at the Queensland titles on Monday night.

Barely 24 hours after claiming the 400m individual medley state crown at the Chandler Pool, Rice was relegated to third in the 200m IM behind the victorious Emily Seebohm.

Rice clocked two minutes, 15.29 seconds - almost eight and a half seconds outside her Commonwealth record.

But she is seriously underdone following shoulder surgery on an inflamed bursa in September which cost her a place in August's Pan Pacs and the Delhi Games.

During her recovery, Rice could only look on as Australia's five-gold Delhi Games heroine Alicia Coutts and Seebohm became the world's top-ranked 200m IM swimmers.

And Seebohm gave Rice a not so subtle reminder that she was still the one to beat on Monday night, clocking 2:11.73 to finish more than four seconds ahead of the triple Olympic champion.

Hardly slowing down since claiming a record eight medals at the Delhi Games, Seebohm's 200m IM win marked her fourth state title in two nights.

The likes of world record holder Christian Sprenger and world champion Marieke Guehrer are not competing in Brisbane due to the world short course titles which start in Dubai on Wednesday.

The Queensland championships conclude on Friday with the final open events on Wednesday.

The above article originally appeared here.



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