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Campbell out to prove 2013 no fluke

25 March 2014

SWIMMING: World champion swimmer Cate Campbell does not like to set goals. Usually.

But the 21-year-old has one for 2014: proving last year was no fluke.

Despite sweeping all before her in 2013, Campbell is not struggling for motivation ahead of next week's national titles in Brisbane, which double as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games trials.

Often the Australian team's hard luck story, Campbell became their superstar by claiming 100m freestyle gold at last year's world titles in Barcelona, remained undefeated over 100m in 2013 and owns the event's fastest time in history in a textile suit.

She has come a long way since battling a string of setbacks, including career-threatening post viral fatigue syndrome in 2010 and pancreatitis after helping the 4x100m freestyle relay team win London Olympic gold.

"I was blown away by last year. I didn't think that was possible ever, let alone so soon after the setbacks I encountered," Campbell told AAP.

"This year I want to build on it, not better it, but to equal it.

"I want to prove that it wasn't a fluke."

Other than that, Campbell is keeping an open mind for 2014.

The truth is, she has no idea how much faster she can swim.

"I find goals can be limiting and disappointing," Campbell said.

"And look at the unpredictability of the sport and my past.

"Two years ago I wasn't even on the national team.

"It all depends on staying fit and healthy."

After watching Campbell already clear so many hurdles, coach Simon Cusack baulked at predicting what his inspirational charge may achieve in 2014.

"She epitomises the Aussie battler. No one can keep her down," he said.

"How fast will she go in her career? I don't know.

"But there is still improvements to be made."

It's an ominous warning as Campbell prepares to tackle a busy year which includes the selection trials starting on April 1, the Glasgow Games in July and the Pan Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast in August.

"Over the past year, relaxing and enjoying my sport has been the key change that has allowed me to perform at my best," Campbell said.

"In the past, I was always putting pressure on myself.

"I was good as a youngster and everyone was expecting big things from me and I kind of lost sight of why I was swimming.

"Now I know. I love this sport."

AAP