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Campbell still cut on Rio return

AAP logoAAP 25/08/2016 Scott Bailey

Cate Campbell is still coming to terms with her mixed Olympics campaign - and the pain is visible.

Despite heading to Rio as favourite for the 50m and 100m freestyle, the 24-year-old failed to medal in either individual event in Rio.

She remained downcast on her arrival at Sydney Airport on Wednesday and then broke down in a televised interview alongside sister, Bronte.

"It's a bit of a grieving process," she told AAP.

"It's been a dream I have been nursing for almost my entire life and I never had a better opportunity to seize it.

"Letting it slip and letting myself down and letting other people who have put their trust in me down is a hard and bitter pill to swallow."

Much has been said of the Australian swim team since they collected 10 medals, including three golds, from the Olympic meet.

The haul was four less victories than they collected at the world championships last year, prompting some media outlets to question the team's attitude.

Meanwhile Australian Olympic Committee benchmarking in December last year, which highlighted the Dolphins strong form, is also said to have placed extra pressure on the high-profile swimmers according to 100m men's freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers.

But Campbell, who still walked away with a relay gold and silver, insisted the responsibility for her performance laid squarely with her.

"I fully cop it," she said.

"I didn't perform on the day and that's on me, that's not on anyone else.

"That's not on Swimming Australia, that's not on the Olympic Team, that's fully and squarely on my shoulders and that's something I am ready to shoulder."

However she hit back at critics who questioned the entire Olympic team's performance after secured the lowest medal haul across all sports since 1992.

"I think before people judge they really need to be in the athlete's shoes," she said.

"It's very easy to sit back in a chair and judge but it's very different when it's you sitting in a boat by yourself.

"No one goes out to under-perform, we all go out to give 100 per cent.

"That's exactly what this Australian team has done and I think Australia should be very proud of them."

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