Performance first for flagbearer Campbell

·1-min read

Swimmer Cate Campbell had to be convinced her performance wouldn't suffer by being Australia's Olympic flagbearer.

Campbell and basketballer Patty Mills will carry the Australian flag at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games on July 23.

The day after the ceremony, Campbell will be a key to Australia's defence of its women's 4x100-metres freestyle relay Olympic title.

"Performance always comes first, that is a non-negotiable for me," Campbell said.

Campbell didn't immediately accept the flagbearer offer when asked by Australia's chef de mission Ian Chesterman.

"He said 'you're under no obligation to say yes, people have said no to me before, but we would like to bestow this honour on you'," Campbell said.

"And I said thankyou very, very much - can I think about it.

"And I made sure I spoke to all the relevant people, I spoke to my coach, I spoke to the head coach of Swimming Australia.

"And we made sure that we could come up with a strategy that put my performance first, so that my performance wouldn't be impacted."

Campbell, to compete at her fourth Olympic Games, believed the honour would inspire her swimming.

"I actually think my performance will benefit from this," she said.

"To be able to go out and feel the sense of community behind me that you get when you compete under an Australian flag I think will only fuel me for the week ahead.

"And I really feel like that this is going to be a performance bonus for me."

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