English swimmer Francesca Halsall doesn’t like Australia’s Campbell sisters. At least not in the pool.
Twice in one day Bronte and Cate Campbell have registered Commonwealth Games records in the 50m freestyle only for Halsall to better the mark a few minutes later.
It was Bronte Campbell, spurred by her part in Australia’s world record effort in the 4 x 100m freestyle on Thursday night, who posted the best mark of 24.52sec in the morning, to lower the time of 24.61s set by Libby Trickett at the Melbourne Games in 2006.
In the next heat Halsall lowered the time to 24.31s.
Then tonight, it was Cate Campbell’s turn to have her crown pinched. The Australian, also a member of the triumphant relay team, clocked 24.17s in the semi-final only to watch Halsall notch 24.14s in the following race.
But at least the Campbells, with Bronte posting 24.62s, and compatriot Mel Schlanger registering a personal best 24.59s, get the chance to go even faster in the gold medal race.
“It’s the final tomorrow night so that’s the one that counts,” said Cate Campbell after the semi-final.
“I always knew I would have a battle on my hands when it came to Fran. She has consistently showed she is a world class performer both in the 50 and the 100.”
As the mark has been lowered consistently on day two of the swim meet it raises the possibility of a sub-24sec swim to win the gold.
However, Cate Campbell won’t be drawn into forecasting a time.
“I have no idea. That’s a big call and one that I’m not willing to make at the moment,” she said.
“I firmly believe actions speak louder than words so we’ll how loud they are tomorrow night.”
Bronte Campbell was excited to have three Australians in the final.
However, she hoped they could gang up on Halsall.
“Fran is nipping at our heels. She is a tiny little pocket rocket and just goes for it,” said Bronte Campbell.
“She is a lovely girl and is swimming out of her skin so I’m pleased for her.”