‘Want to kill each other’: Michael Phelps, US swim stars react to Aussie’s ‘sore loser’ sledge

The fuse is really on for the Australia-United States rivalry ahead of the Paris Olympics, with US swimming stars responding to Cate Campbell’s infamous “sore loser” sledgehammer.

Australia topped the medal tally at last year’s world championships, but US broadcaster NBC caused a stir when it changed its medal tally chart to favor the overall medal tally, putting the US on top. Australia won 13 gold medals and the USA won seven.

In an interview with precise language Today after the world title, Campbell described the Americans as sore losers and began their routine of ringing a cowbell as each of their swimmers came into the match.

“I think Australia being on top of the world is one thing, but beating America is a lot sweeter,” the four-time Olympian said.

“On the first night of the competition, we didn’t have to hear the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ echoing around the stadium. I can’t tell you how happy this made me.

“If I hear this song again, it will be too soon.

“Bring on Paris. That’s all I have to say to the US. Don’t be sore losers.”

Watch Michael Phelps and Lilly King react to the “sore losers” sled in the video above.

At the time, US breaststroker Lilly King said: “We regret not being so excited to cheer for our teammates as they leave for the events. See you in Paris.”

As part of NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, which began this week, King and U.S. swimming legend Michael Phelps were shown a clip of Campbell’s comments as part of a package fueling the rivalry between Australia and the United States.

“Wow. That’s when I first saw it,” Phelps said as he followed Campbell’s comments on a tablet.

“I would watch that thing every day to give me that little extra (motivation).”

King, the Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in the 100m breaststroke, did not last.

“It’s really funny to me that it gets on their nerves so much. It’s fun,” she said, according to NBC.

“Will it be worse if they beat us than anyone else? yes I’m glad everyone is jealous of our pride in our country.

“We like each other, but we want to kill each other when we’re in the pool.”

Bobby Finke, who won gold in the 800 and 1500 meters in Tokyo, also took part in the weigh-in.

“These are only worlds. It’s the Olympics. It’s a big game,” he said.

Backstroker and team captain Ryan Murphy said: “Last summer is over. That’s what happened. So I like the idea of ​​the underdog mentality.”

Australia has beaten the United States twice at the World Championships, in Fukuoka in 2001 and 2023, but has not surpassed the Americans and the overall Olympic medal tally since Melbourne 1956.

The Australians won nine gold medals to the USA’s 11 in Tokyo.

Australian swimmers will once again have to do much of the heavy lifting in Paris if they are to end the Americans’ dominance in the pool.

Ariarne Titmus (200m, 400m, 800m freestyle), Kaylee McKeown (100m and 200m backstroke, 200m medley), Mollie O’Callaghan (100m and 200m freestyle) and Shayna Jack (50m and 100m freestyle) are candidates for the gold medal.

On the men’s side, medal contenders are Kyle Chalmers (100m freestyle), Cam McEvoy (50m freestyle), Zac Stubblety-Cook (200m breaststroke), Elijah Winnington (400m, 800m freestyle) and Sam Short (400m, 800 m, 1500 m free). .

Dolphins head coach Rohan Taylor wants Australia to win medals in all seven relays at the Olympics. The men’s 4x100m medley relay was the only one without a medal in Tokyo.

“I think this team will have a good shake-up,” Taylor told reporters at the Australian swimming trials last week.

“There’s a reason they haven’t beaten the Americans since 1956. They’re just extremely capable when it comes to the Olympics. Here they get stronger.

“They have depth, they have numbers, they have experience.

“We’re going to go out there and do everything we can to create an environment where these athletes, first and foremost, do their best in their individual goals. And many have rivalries that aren’t just with the US. The US is simply involved in many events.

“I’ve been watching them for 68 years when they’re at the top of the Olympic medal tally. It’s almost like the America’s Cup. No one could take them off.

“We don’t discuss it internally, I can promise you that. We’re just talking about what the athletes have to do. Obviously, in retrospect, we look at how we fared in Fukuoka last year. “We want the athletes, whatever they swim here (at the trials), we want them to swim on time or advance. If they do and are ranked high, there’s a good chance they’ll make the podium.

“If we can get a lot of high-ranked athletes there who perform well, the number of medals will fall our way.

“It’s not just about persecuting (Americans). In general, Hungarians have some excellent swimmers. The French with Leon Marchand. It will be interesting. But we will do our best to grab what we can.”

The US trials are in full swing and the Americans look in ominous shape.

Gretchen Walsh broke the women’s 100m dolphin world record, Katie Ledecky qualified for her fourth Olympics and Regan Smith missed McKeown’s 100m backstroke record in the semi-finals.

King qualified in the 100m breaststroke and said she has no plans to continue swimming at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

She will not face Campbell, who missed out on a record fifth Olympic berth in emotional scenes at the Brisbane trials.

The 32-year-old freestyle competitor was embraced by her competitors in the pool after she failed in the 50 and 100 m freestyle.

Her sister Bronte Campbell qualified for the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, which the Australian has won at the last three Olympics.

The Paris Olympics begin on July 26.

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