Cate’s wait over as Tokyo comes back into view
AUSSIE swim queen Cate Campbell has been given the all-clear to get back in the water to kickstart her preparations for the postponed 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Still stranded in Queensland after returning to Brisbane just before the state borders were closed, Campbell will be back in the pool at dawn on Monday after the partial lifting of government restrictions.
"I can't wait," she said.
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"I'll be there at 6am.
"I've picked up a whole heap of hobbies during the lockdown - some that have worked well, some not so good - but I'm really excited to get back into the water."
With NSW pools yet to reopen, Campbell will remain in Brisbane to train at her old stomping ground at the Chandler Aquatic Centre with coach Vince Raleigh's squad, though it won't be exactly like old times.
For starters, her sister Bronte won't be there as she stayed in Sydney during the COVID-19 lockdown, and the pool won't be as crowded as usual with only one swimmer allowed in each lane.
"I've been on regular calls with Swimming Australia about the return to training protocols and there are still heavy restrictions on what you can and can't do such as the number of swimmers and the length of time you can train," she said.
"There's also a lot of restrictions to other facilities that we would normally use, like the change rooms, the pools and gym, so while it's great to be able to swim again, it's not exactly business as usual.
"The message from Swimming Australia has been 'we know you're really keen to get back in the pool but please be patient'."
That includes a warning not to push too hard too early. While Australia's elite swimmers have been keeping fit during the lockdown, they've also been cautioned against trying to go flat out from the get go to avoid any risk of injury.
Campbell is looking ripped after sharing some of her insane dryland training sessions on social media - including one-handed push ups and pull ups, adding the extra weight of two 10 litre water bottles.
She is back living with friends - and dad has even set up some DIY gym gear in the backyard, including pull-up bars under the verandah.
She's also been riding her spin bike - in Zoom workouts with her Sydney training squad and regular coach Simon Cusack - as well as indulging in some photography and furniture repair.
She also had hopes of becoming a green thumb but they were foiled by some pesky nocturnal visitors.
"I planted a vege garden which was great for about three weeks then the possums came and ate them all so I had to stop that," Campbell said.
"I've gotten a lot better at cooking, I think everyone has, but I haven't got into the jigsaw puzzles. I haven't been that bored yet but once I'm at the stage someone needs to send help because I've hit rock bottom."