Australian Campbell breaks 100m freestyle world record ahead of Olympics


Australian swimmer Cate Campbell sent out a message to her rivals ahead of the Rio Olympics by breaking the world record in the 100 metre freestyle.

Campbell set a new world best of 52.06 seconds during the finals of the Swimming Australia Grand Prix on Saturday.

The time bested German Britta Steffen's prior record, set at the 2009 World Championship during the period of now-banned polyurethane swimsuits, by 0.01secs, a testament to how impressive Campbell's swim was.

After setting the record the Australian has her sights firmly set on challenging for gold in Rio, though she admits it is not an obsession.

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

"People have been asking me when am I going to break a world record for the last three years. Now they will stop asking me the question.

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

"But one of my favourite movies is Cool Runnings and the coach says this great quote: 'A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you are not enough without it you will never be enough with it'.

"That's something I have to take to heart. Gold would be the pinnacle for me but I have to make sure I am okay if that doesn't happen."