Australian sprint queen Cate Campbell says the return of Michael Phelps is only adding to the excitement ahead of this month’s Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.
The American legend successfully booked his berth at the four-day event on the Gold Coast over the weekend, finishing second in the 100m butterfly at the US National Championships in California.
Campbell, fresh from her 100m freestyle win at the Commonwealth Games, says there’s a buzz in the Australian team following Phelps’ successful qualification.
“Phelps is a superstar,” Campbell said.
“He’ll get bums on seats … he’s a true legend of the sport and we’re so excited to have him.”
Phelps has been far from his best at the US championships as the 18-time Olympic gold medallist attempts a comeback after his retirement at the 2012 London Games.
Campbell’s sister Bronte said while the 29-year-old’s results haven’t been spectacular, she feels he’s swimming well for someone who’s taken so much time out.
“What Phelps has done is amazing,” Bronte said.
“If I take two weeks off I feel terrible after that so for him, coming back after two years and coming back in such form … it just goes to show what a world-class athlete he is.
“He’s definitely shown his resilience and endurance as well.”
Phelps aside, the Campbell sisters say the Americans will have been paying close attention to Australia’s performance during the recent Glasgow Games.
“They’ve been watching us over at the Commonwealth Games, there’s no mistaking they’ve been watching,” Bronte said.
“Now they’re going to come and see what we can do.”