It was another night of disappointment for Cate and Bronte Campbell as they again failed to win a medal this time in the 50m freestyle final, while Mack Horton could only finish in sixth place in the 1500m final.
The sisters’ tale of woe continued at the Rio Olympics as they were squeezed out of the first three once more with Cate finishing fifth and Bronte seventh.
Pernille Blume of Denmark snatched the gold medal, and silver went to Simone Manuel of the USA with Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia winning bronze.
Horton did not fare much better and he also disappointed badly after trailing in sixth a long way behind gold medal winner Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy in the 1500m.
Cate (left) and Bronte (right) Campbell come up empty-handed after finishing out of medal contention in the 50m final
Looking back on her individual performances in the pool Cate Campbell, 24, was honest in her assessment about how she had fared overall.
‘It was not my best, it is better say this week has not been my best. It is possibly the greatest choke in Olympic history a couple of nights ago. I almost needed someone to give me a Heimlich manoeuvre to help me out there. It hurts. Maybe I will stick around for another four years,’ she told Channel 7.
Her sister Bronte, 22, was also philosophical about her results and tried to remain positive.
‘I am pleased I was part of the final, I wished it had gone differently. I will not make excuses about injury in [my] preparation. We know what we are supposed to do. No excuses with failure. I would just keep battling on,’ she told Channel 7.
Mack Horton also put in a disappointing display and could only finish in sixth place in the 1500m final
A downcast Horton believed that a long week where he earlier won the 400m freestyle gold medal sapped his energy
Horton gives men’s 1500m freestyle gold medal winner Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy a hug after Saturday night’s race in Rio
‘I have come away from a 2016 Olympic campaign with a gold medal, which I got to achieve with my sister [in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay], so it has not been a complete failure.’
Meanwhile Horton, 20, believed that a long week had caught up with him after he won the 400m freestyle gold medal last Saturday night, and fatigue meant he couldn’t put in his best performance for the 1500m final.
‘A bit disappointing. I would have liked to have been faster than the heat yesterday. It has been a really big week, we have been on for eight days,’ he told Channel 7.
‘It’s been a massive week, my body has been on the edge of getting sick for a couple of days so I’ve been trying to hold it together.’
The Campbell sisters won gold in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay and Cate Campbell won a silver in the women’s 4×100 medley relay on Saturday night in Rio, but in their individual events it has been a week to forget for them.
On Friday night a nervous Cate Campbell hesitated on the blocks in her 50m freestyle heat just like she did in her 100m freestyle failure.
Afterwards an annoyed Cate stormed past the media mixed zone and refused to give a post-swim interview after her swim in the heat.
Bronte Campbell, 22, was philosophical about her disappointing results and tried to remain positive
Bronte Campbell congratulates Pernille Blume of Denmark on winning the gold medal in the 50m freestyle final
Cate Campbell hesitated on the blocks in her 50m freestyle heat only a day after her 100m freestyle failure
Cate Campbell (left) qualified in seventh place for the 50m freestyle final despite making another poor start in the heats
Cate (left) and Bronte (right) Campbell console each other after they both disappointed in the 100m freestyle final
Despite getting a better start in the 50m final the Queenslander still couldn’t make an impact.
The Australian swimming sisters were also left devastated after failing to get among the medals in the 100m freestyle final on Thursday night in Rio.
Cate finished sixth, while Bronte was in fourth place. It was a tough loss for both sisters to take but it was particularly hard for Cate who went into the race as a hot favourite.
On her way to making the 100m freestyle final she broke the Olympic record twice in the qualifying rounds, but finished a poor seventh when it mattered.
‘Oh, well, that hurt. Not as much as it’s hurting right now, but you know I have still got the 50 to go. I have always said that I didn’t need a gold medal to have self worth. That’s being put to the test at the moment,’ Cate said.
But she admitted that she perhaps allowed herself to get caught up in the pre-race hype about making it an amazing Campbell one-two in the final.
Despite the disappointing showing Bronte (pictured centre right and extreme right with Cate) was philosophical about the loss and was just happy to be in an Olympic final with her sister
Other competitors try to make Cate Campbell feel better after she missed out on a medal in the 100m freestyle final
Cate took out her semi-final after clocking 52.71 following her earlier record-breaking time of 52.78 seconds in the heats
‘I think I just went (in with) too much emotional energy in the lead-up and even in that race,’ Cate added.
‘I let my head get ahead of me and it’s not something I should do and something that I’ve been working on hard to not to, but maybe I’ve still got another four years left in me.
‘It’s always hard, when you’re in form coming into an event, it’s hard not to think about outcomes. I think I just let my imagination run away with me a little bit.
‘This was an Olympic final, I should have stepped up and performed better but that’s the way the chips fell.’
Her sister Bronte was more upbeat at the time however, and was content to be swimming with her sister in an Olympic final.
‘It’s great. It’s an Olympic final. I said to my coach before I left I have already won – I get to swim a Olympic final with my sister. The Olympics is not about winning it’s about trying to win. I think that’s important,’Bronte said.
‘We both did our best. I have no regrets. Obviously you want the result to be different but in terms of the fact we just went and laid everything we have out there I don’t think either of us have anything to be ashamed of.’
‘Oh, well, that hurt,’ was how Cate Campbell (centre right) summed up her feelings after the 100m freestyle final