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Cate Campbell's slow road to recovery

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Cate Campbell
Cate Campbell
Picture: Gregg Porteous
Source: The Daily Telegraph

From Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph:


Cate Campbell's slow road to recovery

Jessica Halloran
From: The Daily Telegraph
April 08, 2011 12:00AM

CATE Campbell had never felt so bad. If she wasn't sleeping 12 hours a day she was devoid of any energy.

She was debilitated by a fatigue-related illness.

The girl once tipped to take over from Olympic champion Libby Trickett as Australia's sprint queen had lost her power. Her swimming future was on the rocks.

"I've never felt anything like it before," Campbell said. "If I wasn't getting 12 hours sleep a night, I couldn't function that day. I needed 12 hours sleep and a sleep in the afternoon. I've never, ever felt so bad in my life."

This time last year doctors warned her that she needed to take a break from the sport or risk being diagnosed with the potentially career-ending chronic fatigue syndrome.

Last July, the illness forced her to withdraw from the Australian team and miss the Pan Pacs and the Delhi Commonwealth Games. She battled this fatigue-related illness for nearly a year. A less strong-willed teenager would have given it all away.

"I am only realising now how bad I was," Campbell said. "Now I'm getting better, I can appreciate how sick I was." But Campbell is back and has found the going "slow" at these world championship trials at Homebush.

She was disappointed to miss the final of the 100m freestyle but said all this preparation now is to make the team for the London Olympics next year.

At these trials she still hopes to secure an individual spot in the 50m freestyle to make the Australian team for this year's world championships. The final is tonight.

"It's a slow process recovering, they say patience is a virtue, and I am going to be very virtuous after this," Campbell said. "It's great to be back racing, it's what I love to do, and while this so far has been quite a disappointing meet it's all about next year."

There were positive signs last December when the Olympic bronze medallist won the 50m freestyle at the Queensland championships.

Campbell defeated the girl who succeeded her as Australia's sprint queen, Yolane Kukla; she hopes to again get past the talented teenager in tonight's 50m final.

After missing immediate selection for the 4x100m, Campbell is also contesting the relay selection trials on June 29 in Adelaide.


The article originally appeared here.



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