RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - World record holder Cate Campbell of Australia made quick work of the women’s 100 meter freestyle heats at the Rio Games on Wednesday, leading the way to the semi-finals with an Olympic record of 52.78 seconds.
Campbell’s sister Bronte, the world champion in the event, also went through comfortably as the eighth fastest with a time of 53.71.
“You’re always a little bit nervous for your first swim so I’m really glad that that’s out of the way,” said Cate, the older of the two, who set the world mark of 52.06 seconds last month in Brisbane.
“It was a good heat swim and set me up for a good place tonight. Just looking forward to doing the rounds and keeping as calm and as relaxed as possible,” she told reporters.
She made light of the Olympic record: “People have been going under 53 for the past three years, so it’s not that big of an achievement.”
Simone Manuel of the United States was second fastest in 53.32 seconds and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom third in 53.37.
Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, the defending Olympic champion, looked relaxed after going through in fourth place with a time of 53.43.
“It was an easy swim, a solid swim,” she said. “I think I can go faster.”
Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Alison Williams