'I'm overwhelmed with embarrassment and shame'

Aussie swimmer Cate Campbell is still coming to terms with her heartbreak in Rio, breaking down in a highly emotional interview.

In an exclusive chat with Mel McLaughlin for 7News, Campbell said she still feels like a failure despite coming home with a gold and silver medal for her role in the 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay teams.

Jenny, Bronte and Cate Campbell. Image: 7News

In the heartbreakingly candid interview just minutes after reunited with mother Jenny, Cate and younger sister Bronte described the pain of coming up short in the 100m final when they were both expected to end up on the podium.

"It's a hard one because I don't want to [reflect on it]," Cate said.

"Every time I do I'm overwhelmed with embarrassment and shame.

"When it counted, when the chips were down I didn't deliver. It's not what I wanted for myself, it's not what I wanted for Australia."

But coming to her defence, Bronte said Cate had nothing to be ashamed of.

"The problem is you go out there and do your best and you feel like you're representing a whole group of people who've invested in you," she said.

The fact that a champion like Cate feels like a failure is truly devastating, and it looks like she won't be changing her mind any time soon.

Her incredible swim in the medley relay - coming from sixth to finish second - showed amazing courage to bounce back, especially after later revealing she needs surgery for a hernia she was carrying in Rio.

After a much-deserved break and some family time, we have no doubt the Campbells will be back on top of the swimming world in no time.