Shock result for Aussie sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell in freestyle final.

The Campbell sisters, Cate and Bronte, have shared the same Olympic dream for more than a decade but today became rivals, both vying for gold in the women’s 100m freestyle final at Rio.

Now they’re sharing the same heartbreak as neither managed a spot in the top three, despite going into the race pegged as favourites to win.

America’s Simone Manuel came in first, while Bronte and Cate, placed fourth and sixth, respectively.

The 24-year-old is currently the world record holder and claimed her place in the final, breaking the Olympic record in the heats.

Asked if they had a message for their supporters back home Cate wanted to thank them and said: “Please still love me back.”

“I’ve always said I don’t need a gold medal to have self worth and that’s being put to the test at the moment,” she said after the heartbreaking loss.

“They [the last 25 metres] hurt but not as much as this is hurting right now,” Cate. “This doesn’t change how you should feel about me.”


Cate’s younger sister, Bronte, 22, made it through by finishing fifth in the final eight, but claimed the 100m freestyle title at the World Championships in Russia last year.

Earlier this week the siblings made history in Rio, as the first Australian sisters to win gold in the same event, the 4 x 100m freestyle relay.

Cate and Bronte celebrate after winning gold and bronze in the Women's 100m Freestyle finals at the world championships. Source: Getty

"For Cate this is her third time around, so she's a bit of an old hand at this," Olympic swimming coach Simon Cusack said before the race, adding she'd need to be as "cool as a cucumber".

"Basically, Cate has to swim her own race and drop the curtains down and let her own pace dictate how she swims. Not the pace of others.

"Bronte has quite an old head on her young shoulders so this is her second time round ... she's used to the games."

Bronte has spoken about the inspiration she gains from her teenage brother Hamish, who has cerebral palsy.

"He's amazing, he's been through a lot in his little life, lots of surgeries and complications and he's one of those wildly optimistic people, " she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I always think about stuff like this when I get up behind the blocks for a race. It's not life and death and that’s  something that Hamish has helped me realise.

''It's given me some perspective. It’s a swimming race and it’s really, really important to me but there’s only a few other people in the world who really care about this and no one’s going to get hurt if I fail except for maybe me, so it’s definitely helped me relax going into competitions.''

The Brisbane sisters began swimming when they were just nine and seven, getting up at 6.30am to walk to the pool together.

"This has been a dream for so long and it’s come true,” their mother Jenny told the Seven Network after their joint win.

"It almost seems unbelievable that I have two daughters who stood at the top of the podium at the [Olympics], doing what they used to talk about doing 15 years ago."

Meanwhile, these are the female Aussie Olympians we'll be keeping an eye on:

Feature image: Getty


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