50 Free Australian Record Cate Campbell 23.79 Race Analysis

50 Free Australian Record Cate Campbell 23.79 Race Analysis

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This week the Australian Swimming Trials have brought fast swims, most notably a 50 free Australian Record by Cate Campbell in the with a blistering time of 23.79. From my research, this is the 4th fastest 50-free of all-time and a 50 free Australian Record (breaking her own record).

For those who haven’t followed one of our analyses, these analyses are for fun and to spark debate. There are some inherent flaws in this race analysis:

  • Videos are taken from YouTube videos (often with subpar angles)
  • There are analyzed with Kinovea

Let’s break down the new 50 free Australian Record by Cate Campbell. See the recent Caeleb Dressel fastest 100-yard breast race analysis.

50 Free Australian Record – 23.97 Cate Campbell

50 Free Australian Record Analysis

First 25 Meters

First 15 Meters

With a 0.75 s reaction time, Campbell doesn’t get off the block well. However, she is able to break the surface of the water at 3.8 seconds and hit the 15-m mark at ~5.8 seconds. She only takes 4 strokes to this mark. She covered this distance in ~2.5 m/s.

15 Meters – 25 Meters

Cate took 9 total strokes over the next 15 meters. She covered this length in 4.9 seconds at a velocity of ~2.0 m/s.  Her distance per stroke was 1.1 meters/stroke.

First 25 Meters Analysis

Taking the first half of the race in ~10.7 seconds, she had an overall velocity of ~2.3 m/s. She took 13 strokes over this length.

Second 25 Meters

25 Meters – 35 Meters

Maintain her consistency, Cate takes another 9 strokes over this leg. However, she is beginning to lose speed, taking the next 10-meters 0.2 seconds slower, at 5.1 seconds. Her velocity drops below 2 m/s to ~1.9 m/s, while her distance per stroke remains at 1.1 meters/stroke.

35 Meters – 50 Meters

Into the finish, Campbell closes the last 15-m in ~8.0 seconds at a velocity of 1.8 m/s. Her DPS increases to 1.15 meters/stroke, as she is unable to maintain her stroke rate. Her stroke count was 13.

Second 25 Meters Analysis

Her second 25 meters she took 22 strokes and had a ~13.1 seconds.

50 Free Australian Record Analysis

Cate was able to go a 50 free Australian Record with a remarkable 23.79 seconds.

Most of this is attributed to Cate’s:

  1. Great distance per stroke.
  2. Consistent distance per stroke and speed.
  3. Low stroke count.

Theoretical Improvements for Cate

Time for some fun, how can Cate improve her 50 free Australian Record?

Well, there isn’t as much to analyze in the 50 free, but there are a few aspects for Cate to improve.

  1. Improved Reaction Time?: I hate to suggest it as reaction time doesn’t correlate with a faster time to 15-m. However, she is nearly 0.1 seconds slower than the field off the block. She is able to hit the 15-m mark with the field, but I can’t help but wonder … if she can keep her start the same and get off the block a few hundredths faster…
  2. Maintain Stroke Rate on Last 15-m: Perhaps if Cate can maintain her stroke rate on the last 15-m, then she may be able to finish with the same velocity as her previous 10-m (25-35-m). Clearly, this is easier said than done, but many of the top sprinters are able to “charge the wall” and finish with similar velocity as their previous marks.

Anyway, it is great to see Cate back and swimming faster than ever. Hopefully, she can continue to improve and swim well in her upcoming races to push the World Record.

Dr. John Mullen


Dr. John Mullen, DPT, CSCS is a World renowned expert and speaker in sports training and rehabilitation. He received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at USC, as well as the Josette Antonelli Division Service Scholarship, Order of the Golden Cane, and the Order of Areté. At USC, he also performed research on strength training and rehabilitation. Dr. John has worked with multiple professional and Olympic athletes, helping them earn Olympic medals.

His dedication to research and individualization spurred him to open COR in 2011. Since 2011, Dr. John has been featured in Gizmodo, Motherboard, Stack Magazine, and much more.

He has worked with the numerous colleges and teams regarding rehab and performance. Before his Doctoral program, Dr. John swam on an athletic scholarship at Purdue University.

At Purdue, Dr. John was an Academic Honorable Mention All-American and was awarded the Red Mackey Award and R. O. Papenguh Award. He also won the Purdue Undergraduate business plan and elevator pitch competition, as well as 1st prize with the Indiana Soy Bean Alliance.

Dr. John was born in Centerville, Ohio and was a 24-time high school All-American Swimmer. Dr. John is still a swimmer and holds a Masters Swimming World and Pacific Swimming Record.

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