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McEvoy, Campbell make splash in Japan

  • McEvoy, Campbell make splash in Japan

    Australian coach Jacco Verhaeren is trying to keep a lid on Rio Olympic expectations.

It's getting harder for Australian swimming coach Jacco Verhaeren to play down Cameron McEvoy's Rio prospects after the sprint king extended his reign to Japan ahead of the Olympics.

And there is also plenty to get excited about teammate Cate Campbell's Japan Open performance.

But Verhaeren is determined to keep a level head despite the duo appearing poised to help Australia reclaim the world No.1 ranking for the first time since 2001.

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McEvoy capped a remarkable Japan Open campaign in Tokyo on Sunday night (AEDT) by claiming the 50m freestyle gold to complete yet another sprint clean sweep.

He was the first man ever to capture the 50m-100m-200m national titles at April's Rio trials in Adelaide.

McEvoy showed it was no fluke by repeating the feat at a world class Japan Open.

He clocked 21.61 seconds - a world top three time for 2016 - to outclass Japan's Katsumi Nakamura (22.26) with fellow Aussie James Magnussen third (22.31).

McEvoy backed up from claiming his pet event 100m in 48.17 - faster than the winning time at the recent European championships.

And he was still shaking off the effects of winning the 200m final and clocking a 400m PB at the Tokyo weekend meet.

It showed McEvoy could produce world class times while juggling a heavy schedule similar to Rio where he will contest the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle plus three relays.

Campbell also showed she had overcome a shoulder complaint that derailed her 2015 world titles campaign by claiming the 50m gold, backing up from her 100m triumph in 52.38 - just shy of the world record.

Still, Verhaeren was not making any bold predictions ahead of Rio.

"The team is looking strong. It shows they can make a final - that's the first job," he said.

"And let's see where that takes us.

"But you can't predict any medals.

"On race day those times start at zero again for everyone at Rio so we have a big job ahead of us."

Verhaeren had simple goals for his team before Rio.

"We are looking to stay as healthy and fit as we can," he said.

"They have already shown they can swim fast - usually people who are healthy and fit can do that again.

"We need to arrive fit and healthy at Rio - from then on anything is possible."

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