Cate Campbell is back competing in her second event since Tokyo 2020 as she bids to represent Australia at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

Four-time Olympic gold-medallist Cate Campbell of Australia has vowed to do "everything in my power" to be fit for next year’s Olympics in Paris after making her long-awaited return to action.

Campbell is competing in this week’s Australian Swimming Championships in Queensland in what is her second event back since Tokyo 2020.

The 30-year-old took an extended break from the sport after competing at the Olympics in the Japanese capital in 2021 but is now back with the aim of becoming the first Australian swimmer to feature at five Games.

She has ruled out the possibility of swimming at the World Aquatics Championships, scheduled to be held in July in Fukuoka in Japan, as she sets her sights on Paris 2024.

"Paris is the end goal," said Campbell in a report by Australian television network Fox Sports.

"I’m doing everything in my power to be fit and ready to perform at my absolute best because it will be the last time I get in a swimming pool.

"I have this deep sense of knowing that working towards Paris is going to be the last time that I put together an Olympic preparation, that I will compete [for] my country if I qualify.

"The focus has very much shifted to ensuring that I’m at my absolute best for that."

Campbell made her Olympic debut at Beijing 2008 where she won bronze in the women’s 50 metres freestyle and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

She has claimed women’s 4x100m freestyle gold at London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 where she also clinched the women’s 4x100m medley title.

After taking a 15-month break from the sport, Campbell returned at last month’s Brisbane Senior Metro Championships before entering the Australian Swimming Championships.

"I’m feeling the most uncomfortable I have about swimming in a very long time. I’m not really sure what to expect," Campbell told Australian newspaper The Courier-Mail.

"It’s the first opportunity to see the competition I’ll be up against.

"I asked lots of other retired athletes and while they all had different reasons for leaving they all said 'when you know…you know'.

"I didn’t have that sense of knowing.

"When I came back from Tokyo, I was exhausted in every sense of the word. But I wasn’t out of love with swimming and the Olympic element that comes with it.

"I’m so grateful to Swimming Australia for how supportive they’ve been of me taking the time off, for their continued support of me coming back."

"They’ve allowed me to figure out what I think is best for myself and have recognised the contribution that I’ve made over many, many years."