“Yes, very much. I think I started reaching my Rio threshold about halfway through this year. When people ask about it I just think ‘here we go again’. I’ve moved on,” Campbell said.
“Some people in the media have been along with me on that journey but, when you get to an Olympic year, you get a whole influx of people that want to take you back there.”
Campbell is too polite to dismiss questions out of hand, and will no doubt touch on her Rio experience from time to time. But she said she would have a few well-worn responses up her sleeve, especially when she faced the international media before the Olympics.
“There’s going to be a couple of pre-scripted answers I think. It’s not a reflection of who I am any more … I’ve moved on and I don’t feel like it needs to be talked about all the time any more.”
Campbell’s comeback story is remarkable given how low she felt after Rio. She won silver in the 100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games behind sister Bronte, then took another silver at this year’s FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, beaten only by a sizzling swim from Olympic champion Simone Manuel.
She has produced some spellbinding relay legs and helped Australia to a host of relay golds in South Korea, with those squads forming a key part of the Dolphins’ Olympic assault next year.
In any case, Campbell has hardly had time to reflect. She’s had the busiest year of her career, hardly setting foot on home soil in the latter part of the year as she swims in the new International Swimming League.
Campbell’s relentless consistency also saw her top the standings across the FINA World Cup meetings, picking up a handy prize close to $300,000 in the process.
It means she will have to put her head down in the training pool early next year to recoup some aerobic fitness before Tokyo but the hard run of races could pay dividends when it counts most.