Cate Campbell’s hold on the Australian Swimmer of the Year award is over but the title might yet remain in her Brisbane household for another year thanks to her little sister.
Cate Campbell’s flatmate Bronte will hope to keep the award in the family for a third straight year by taking the top gong at Swimming Australia’s glamour ceremony in Brisbane on Saturday night after a breakthrough year.
But fellow dual champions Emily Seebohm and Mitch Larkin will provide tough competition after their golden run at last month’s world titles in Russia.
Bronte Campbell finally emerged from her sister’s shadow at the Kazan world titles, becoming just the third person in history to complete the 50m-100m freestyle double.
It marked the second time she had left her older sister in her wake at the world titles after snapping defending champion Cate’s unbeaten run since late 2012 in the 100m final.
Bronte earned a third gold as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team plus a bronze.
However, fellow dual champions Seebohm and Larkin were a hard act to follow at Kazan.
Larkin was Australia’s male swimmer of the meet with two gold and a silver after becoming the first man in 10 years to claim the 100m-200m backstroke double.
Seebohm, 23, was the fifth woman since 1973 to take the 100m-200m backstroke world titles double.
She finally downed US nemesis Missy Franklin to clinch her first 100m backstroke gold at her fifth world titles campaign.
Cate Campbell had won the past two Swimmer of the Year awards, extending the women’s dominance of the honour.
Women have won nine of the past 11 titles.
Australia will have plenty to toast at the gala dinner.
The Dolphins finished second on the world titles medal tally with seven gold behind the United States (eight).
But on an adjusted medal tally featuring Olympic events ahead of Rio 2016, Australia would have finished on top with seven gold compared to the Americans’ six.
Tasked with regaining the world No.1 ranking by the 2020 Games in the wake of the “toxic” London Olympic campaign, Australian coach Jacco Verhaeren appears years ahead of schedule.
Apart from their gold medal rush, Australia also set six Commonwealth records and 10 new national marks at Kazan.
The Australian juniors will also be toasted after they topped the medal tally at the FINA world junior championships in Singapore with nine gold.
They were led by Kazan sprint rookie Kyle Chalmers and world junior record holder Minna Atherton (both three gold).
The night will also honour the Paralympic team who finished top 10 at the IPC world titles, winning nine gold and setting three world records.