BELOW PAR: Cate and Bronte Campbell after the final of the women’s 100 metre freestyle. Picture: AP Photo/Lee Jin-manThe swimming is all done and dusted at the Olympic games and the Australians managed three golds, four silvers and three bronzes in the pool.
Nanjing Night Net

Many believed it a below par performance including Michael ‘Speedy’ Stratton.

In this week’s At The Bar, Speedy and The Area News sports journalist Ben Jaffrey discuss what went wrong for the swimmers.

Ben: How’s your Olympic-watching experience been going so far, Speed?

Speedy: I’ve been getting a fair bit in but I’ll tell you what’s been disappointing –the Australian swimming team.

Ben: As a whole –I’d agree. What do you think went wrong?

Speedy: There’s a lot of pressure put on the swimmers, especially those Campbell girls. A fortnight ago, you’d pick up a metro newspaper and it was all about what they’re going to do at Rio. It’d say ‘they’re going to sweep the pool’ and so on.

Ben: So you think the pressure put on by the media, coaches and the Australian public saw them buckle?

Speedy: It must be on their minds when they jump in the pool. The Campbells’100 metre freestyle final was very disappointing. On that performance they’d be flat out swimming across the Lachlan River when it’s at a record low.

Ben: I can picture a young Michael Stratton now, leaving the Campbell girls in his wake across the Lachlan.

Speedy: I was one of Hillston’s finest breaststrokers in my day.

Ben: I don’t doubt that. Whilethe Australian team was disappointing in the pool as a whole, there was a couple swimmers who performed.

Speedy: There was Mack Horton in the 400 metre freestyle, he’s one for down the track.

Ben: He’s only 20 and there’s Kyle Chalmers too. He’s only 18 and bagged himself the 100 metre freestyle gold.

Speedy: That’s right, he came from the clouds didn’t he?

Ben: He blitzed it.

Speedy: Just like Michael Phelps has been. He is the greatest swimmer the world will ever see.

Ben: He’s good.

Speedy: I’ve never seen anyone like him and to come back from retirement too.

Ben: Many have tried to come back from retirement but nonehave recaptured the same form that Phelps has.

Speedy: Hackett and Thorpe tried to do it and near drowned.

Ben: I was a believer in Ian Thorpe when he came back.

Speedy: I thought he might have went well but he just didn’t. Then this bloke does it and goes wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.

Ben: How would Phelps go in the Lachlan?

Speedy: He could swimit 20 times without a breath.

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