SIBLING RIVALRY: Sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell.
SIBLING RIVALRY: Sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell. Chris Hyde

Sister act on song to claim glory in the pool

FEW take sibling rivalry to such levels as Australian sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell.

The freestyle pair, now aged 24 and 22 respectively, have been going stroke for stroke while at the same time trading blows on the international stage for some time.

At London 2012, they became the first Australian siblings to qualify for the same swimming event (50m) at an Olympic Games. Neither would make the final on that occasion.

However, three years later in Kazan they were the first family members in the history of the swimming world championships to stand on the podium together.

Bronte beat her older sister and the defending 100m champion Cate, who finished third. It was a double celebration for Bronte, who also claimed the 50m crown.

Cate hit back at the Australian titles in Adelaide in April, beating Bronte in both the 50m and 100m events for one-two finishes.

And then while Bronte was laid up with illness, Cate not only secured wins in both events at July's Brisbane Grand Prix, she clocked a new world record for the 100m - 52.06 seconds, going .01 of a second faster than German Britta Steffen's time at the 2009 world titles in a now-banned supersuit.

It was a record once held by fellow Australians Jodie Henry (53.52sec in 2004) and Libby Trickett (52.88sec in 2008).

Steffen also holds the 50m record (23.73sec), but with the Campbells at the peak of their powers and pushing each other to the limit it also could go under - it may just be a matter of which sister claims it.

Ready to square off again in the 50m and 100m, the sisters are sharing a room in the Olympic village in Rio.

"It's going to be tough, there's no denying, but we get to swim a relay together (4x100m), which has always been our dream,” Cate said.

"It's the one time we get to compete with each other instead of against each other and to be able to do that in Rio will be an absolute dream come true.”

Neither has an individual Olympic gold medal. Cate won bronze in the 50m freestyle in Beijing 2008, and has a gold (from London 2012) and bronze (from Beijing 2008) from the 4x100m freestyle.

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