Australia's Campbell breaks 100m freestyle world record

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[July 02, 2016]    (Reuters) - Australian swimmer Cate Campbell broke the women's 100 meters freestyle world record at the Brisbane Grand Prix on Saturday, sending an ominous warning to her rivals at next month's Rio Olympics.

Australia's Cate Campbell reacts after the women's 100m freestyle semi-final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

The 24-year-old clocked 52.06 seconds to better German swimmer Britta Steffen's previous record of 52.07 seconds set seven years ago during the now-banned synthetic swim-suit era.

The London relay gold medalist beat her previous personal best of 52.33 seconds to claim the first individual world record by an Australian since the supersuit period.

"It happened when I least expected it. I still can't believe it happened," Campbell was quoted as saying in the Australian Associated Press.

"People have been asking me when am I going to break a world record for the last three years.

"Now they will stop asking me the question."

After a few testing years with injury and illness, the world number one has her eyes firmly set on the gold at the Aug. 5-21 Rio Games.

"Anyone who goes to the Olympics and says they are not after gold are kidding themselves," she added.

(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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