Campbell smashes 100m free world record

BRISBANE • Australian swimmer Cate Campbell broke the women's 100 metres freestyle world record at the Brisbane Grand Prix yesterday, sending an ominous warning to her rivals ahead of next month's Rio Olympics.

The 24-year-old clocked 52.06 seconds to better German Britta Steffen's 52.07, set seven years ago during the now-banned synthetic swimsuit era.

The London relay gold medallist beat her previous personal best of 52.33 seconds to claim the first individual world record by an Australian since the supersuit era.

"It happened when I least expected it. I still can't believe it happened," Campbell said.

After a few testing years with injury and illness, the world No. 1 has her eyes firmly set on claiming the gold in Rio.

"Anyone who goes to the Olympics and says they are not after gold are kidding themselves," she said.

Later, Park Tae Hwan finished fourth in the 200m freestyle final at the Brisbane meet as the former Olympic champion continues his preparations for Rio despite a controversial doping ban excluding him from the South Korean team.

The 26-year-old completed an 18-month ban imposed by world governing body Fina in March after testing positive for testosterone ahead of the 2014 Asian Games.

However, under Korean Olympic Committee regulations, he was then subjected to an additional three-year ban from the national team, effectively ruling him out of the Olympics.

Park took his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and is expected to be notified of the result this week.

The Koreans are set to decide on the swim team on July 18.

On Friday, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte set the stage for a blockbuster showdown in Rio with a scintillating 200m individual medley duel at the US Olympic trials.

It was Phelps who emerged victorious, but he was pushed all the way by the man who has, for years, brought the best out of the 18-time Olympic gold medallist .

"We race each other until the last stroke," Phelps, 31, said, and Friday's race was no exception.

They battled stroke for stroke before Phelps lunged for the win in 1min 55.91sec, with Lochte, 31, second in 1:56.22 - putting them second- and third-fastest in the world this year behind the 1:55.07 of Japan's Kosuke Hagino.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 03, 2016, with the headline 'Campbell smashes 100m free world record'. Print Edition | Subscribe