Unfazed by her ancestors’ infamous Scottish history, world 100m freestyle champion Cate Campbell is primed for a major strike on the Glasgow Games.
Such is the bad blood that still remains between clans, a sign to this day hangs in a Scotland pub that reads: “No Hawkers or Campbells”.
But it seems there is no stopping Cate Campbell at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Sadly, world 100m freestyle champion Campbell’s parents won’t be able to make the trip to next month’s Games.
And Campbell knows some Scottish folk won’t be complaining after a recent family visit to their “roots” revealed her ancestors’ participation in the infamous Glenroe massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692 still riles locals.
“It’s a little far for the Campbell clan to make the trip to Scotland, back to our roots,” Campbell said of her parents’ aborted Games travel plans.
The 22-year-old then added with a wry grin: “Plus we are not very welcome in Scotland – we massacred the MacDonalds.”
However, it has not stopped Campbell from planning another major strike on her ancestors’ homeland judging by her scorching Grand Prix form in Brisbane.
At her last competition before the Glasgow Games, Campbell clocked the world’s second fastest time of 2014 (52.70 seconds) to win the 100m freestyle on Saturday.
Despite shouldering a heavy training schedule, Campbell almost eclipsed her 2014 world best time (52.68) set at the national titles in April and was just outside the 52.34 she clocked to win the 2013 world title.
And it would have won gold at the London Olympics where she was hampered by illness, easily overhauling the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo’s 53.00.
Remarkably, Campbell now holds four of the year’s top five 100m freestyle times.
“Every time I get in and race I want to swim a smart race, a lot of thought goes into a good 100m,” said Campbell.
“It’s about getting to a major meet knowing you have done some good swims and know how to put together a good 100m so you don’t have to think about it.”
Her sister Bronte – the world No.3 – finished second in the 100m freestyle final on Saturday (53.27).
Still, the Campbells seemed more likely to talk about benefits of the Glenroe massacre than the prospect of a family 100m freestyle podium finish at Glasgow.
“We don’t talk about that,” said Bronte Campbell.
“I think our mother and father would dearly love it if we dead-heated (in the 100m final) so they don’t have to pick a favourite child.”