Campbell to carry chair and flag at Games

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Swim ace Cate Campbell will carry a portable chair as well as Australia's flag to the opening ceremony of the Toyko Olympics.

A detailed plan is being hatched to limit Campbell's time at the July 23 ceremony, given she will race in a final just 36 hours later.

Campbell is Australia's joint flagbearer with basketballer Patty Mills.

The swimmer only accepted the honour after being convinced her performances in the pool wouldn't suffer from marching at the ceremony.

Four-time Olympian Campbell, who has never marched at an opening ceremony before, is key to Australia's defence of its 4x100m freestyle relay crown.

The relay final is on the morning of July 25, with indications she won't swim the heat the previous day.

Swimming Australia's head coach Rohan Taylor, Campbell's coach Simon Cusack and Australia's chef de mission Ian Chesterman will fine-tune the Campbell plan after the swimmer arrives in Tokyo on Saturday.

"We felt from her fitness point of view, it wasn't going to be an issue," Taylor said on Friday.

"And then, second to that, talking to Ian Chesterman about the ability to shorten the amount of time that Cate will actually be within the opening ceremony.

"It will be things like how late could she arrive before (marching) - in past opening ceremonies you can be standing in an alternative venue for two to three hours waiting before you march.

"We want to try to limit that. And we also want to try to get her out of the venue and back to village as soon as it's possible.

"We have gotten her a small portable chair that she can have with her to sit down, so she doesn't have to stand at times when she can sit ... we're doing everything we can."

Australia's 35-strong swim team departs for Tokyo on Saturday after spending the past 13 days in camp in Cairns.

The team carries expectations of challenging the nation's best-ever swimming haul at an Olympics - the eight gold, four silver and two bronze medals collected in Melbourne in 1956.

A swimming medal swag would also gift Australia's overall Olympic team early momentum in Tokyo but Taylor declined to nominate a medal target.

"What we are focused on is getting our best performances out, so converting our performances from trials will be the most important thing," he said.

"We want everyone to swim faster (than at trials). And if everybody can swim faster at the Olympics, then medals and finals and those types of things just fall into place.

"And obviously it's due to the fact that we have high-ranked athletes that do create opportunities for us to be winning a number of medals which will contribute to the overall Australian team."

Taylor sensed great anticipation among the swim team.

"I haven't felt anybody being nervous," he said.

"Anticipation is more now we're going a little bit into the unknown of the travel, the timeframe we're going to be at the airport ... we're hearing different stories from teams that have gone in.

"And then obviously to what it's going to be like on a day-to-day basis within the village.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that they are very aware that we are going to adapt.

"We have also gone through the 15, 16 months of COVID which has pretty much thrown everything you could imagine at us."

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