Cate Campbell's incredible act of sportsmanship after missing gold

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·4-min read
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  • Tokyo Games
    Tokyo Games
  • Cate Campbell
    Cate Campbell
    Australian swimmer, Olympic gold medallist, world champion, former world record-holder
  • Emma McKeon
    Australian swimmer
Seen here, Cate Campbell shares in a classy moment with Aussie rival Emma McKeon at the Olympics.
Cate Campbell was the first to congratulate Aussie rival Emma McKeon on her gold medal. Pic: Getty

Cate Campbell has been praised for an incredible act of sportsmanship after claiming bronze behind compatriot Emma McKeon in the women's 100m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.

McKeon entered Friday's final as the hot favourite after qualifying fastest and she lived up to that tag by winning her fourth medal of the Games.

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The Aussie won in 51.96 seconds followed by Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey (52.27) and Campbell (52.52).

McKeon's triumph gives her a second gold of the Games - she and Campbell were part of Australia's victorious 4x100m freestyle relay team.

That team camaraderie was on full display in the moments after the race finished, with Campbell heard saying to McKeon, "I'm so proud of you", while the swimmers were still in the water.

Campbell was all class in her interview afterwards, hugging and heaping praise on her victorious compatriot, before expressing her delight at winning another Olympic medal.

"This is my fourth Olympics and only my second individual medal and honestly it means the world to me," Campbell said.

"I'm so happy for Emma, seeing her get up and I'm so glad there's going to be an Australian national anthem going through this stadium.

"I'm so glad that I get to be on the podium and share that moment with her."

The beautiful post-race moments from Campbell left viewers singing her praises on social media.

Emma McKeon eyes off Aussie record

McKeon, who has also won two bronze medals in Tokyo, is one medal shy of equalling the record of Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould for most medals by an Australia at a single Olympics, with five.

‘It doesn’t feel real,” McKeon said afterwards.

“I can just feel my emotions bubbling up.”

The 27-year-old led from start to finish: she was first off the blocks in a reaction time a tenth of a second quicker than any rival.

McKeon led at the halfway stage and maintained her dominance until the wall.

Pictured here, Cate Campbell congratulates Emma McKeon on her gold medal at the Tokyo Games.
Cate Campbell was proud to share in Emma McKeon's big moment at the Tokyo Games. Pic: Getty

The Australian collects her fourth gold of the Games and is threatening the Australian record for most medals at a single Olympics.

McKeon, with a pair of bronzes in the 100m butterfly and 4x200m freestyle relay, is also favourite for the 50m freestyle - heats in that sprint are contested Friday night.

And McKeon is likely to feature when Australia contends for a 4x100m mixed medley medal, which could give her a record sixth medal of the Games.

Swim legends Gould and Thorpe hold the Australian record for the most medals at one Games with five each.

Thorpe won three gold and two silver in the Sydney 2000 Games while Gould collected three gold, one silver and a bronze at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

And should McKeon win six medals, her Olympic career total of nine will equal Thorpe's record for most by an Australian.

with agencies

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