Chalmers Butterflying Visit to Sydney Might Just Reap Extra Olympic Race Date With His Mate Dressel

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EXPANSION: Olympic freestyle king Kyle Chalmers spreading his wings into Dressel territory. Photo Courtesy Andy Burns (Homepix).

Kyle Chalmers (Marion) may well consider adding the 100m butterfly to his Tokyo Olympic program according to his coach Peter Bishop – who says it’s not off the table.

The Rio Olympic 100m freestyle gold medallist showed his hand in Sydney overnight with an eye-catching personal best time of 51.37 – the third fastest time in the world this year.

Kyle Chalmers mean look

LEAN AND MEAN: Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers shows he means business with four wins from four swims at the NSW Championships. Photo Courtesy: Anthony Burns (Homepix).

It was his fourth victory in three days as the successful NSW State Open Championships wound up at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre – despite the Coronavirus cloud hanging over the world.

Swimmers from all over Australia including 20-odd Olympians filed out of the pool for the final time – shutting for the general public and only open for the pool’s High Performance Program under Adam Kable – many heading home and not knowing whether their own training facilities would be open or shut.

Not knowing when their next competition would be but in the firm belief they will continue to do whatever it takes be ready to swim for their lives come July 24 in Tokyo.

And judging by his attitude and his performances in the pool Chalmers will be leading the way.

The South Australian powerhouse added the 100m butterfly to his previous wins in the 200m butterfly (1:57.35), 100m freestyle (48.28) and the 200m freestyle (1:46.12) – all swum as he said before the meet “under fatigue” which is a scary thought.


ARMED AND DANGEROUS: Caeleb Dressel and Kyle Chalmers locked in a battle royal on a new front. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Inspired to keep swimming and to get the absolute best out of himself by his rivalry with US nemesis Caeleb Dressel, Chalmers is in a good place both in and out of the water.

Mature well above his 21 years and happy and confident with his status as Australia’s youngest Olympic champion and looking to meet Dressel head-on in what we may well expect as they say “more than we bargained for.”

And although he said he had targeted the 200m freestyle here, the 100m butterfly was arguably his best swim – all things considered.

It was the third fastest time for 2020 behind US pair World Champion Dressel (50.92) and Michael Andrew (51.33) – so it certainly puts him right in the mix – and would have seen him well and truly in the final in Rio and the 2019 World Championships.

But remembering Dressel did break the world record in the semi-final in Gwangju last year which stands at a staggering 49.50 – and backed up with his winning time of 49.66 in the final.

Only two Australians have ever swum faster than Chalmers – 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Andrew Lauterstein (50.85) in a super suit – and Rio Olympian Grant Irvine’s 51.00.

ISL: Emma McKeon

BISHOP TO QUEEN: Australian coach discusses next move for Emma McKeon for the London Roar Photo Courtesy: ISL.

“It’s on the table – especially after tonight – it was certainly a good swim (especially in heavy training) – but ultimately it’s up to Kyle and he won’t do anything that interferes with his 100m freestyle,” said Bishop.

“And I guess he would consider it if he thought he could win a medal.”

A glance through the Olympic program also suggests that “yes” it does appear to fit and “no” it doesn’t appear to interfere with the 100m freestyle.

With the Australian Trials still to be swum in June and a lot of water to pass under bridges all over the world by then – Chalmers still has time on his side to decide his program – but in a perfect world in Tokyo this could well be Chalmers Olympic schedule:

Day 2 (PM) 200m freestyle heat; 4x100m freestyle heat.

Day 3 (AM) 200m freestyle semi-final; 4x100m freestyle FINAL

Day 4 (AM) 200m FINAL

Day 4 (PM) 100m freestyle heat; 4x200m freestyle heat (could be rested)

Day 5 (AM) 100m freestyle semi-final; 4x200m freestyle FINAL

Day 6 (AM) 100m freestyle FINAL

Day 6 (PM) 100m butterfly heat

Day 7 (AM) 100m butterfly semi-final

Day 7 (PM) 4x100m medley relay heats

Day 8 (AM) 100m butterfly FINAL

Day 8 (PM) 4x100m medley heats

Day 9 (AM) 4x100m medley FINAL

It’s March and Chalmers is in a heavy work phase just as so many of these aspiring Olympians are, but they certainly stood up and delivered over the weekend.

Emma McKeon (Griffith University) showed just why she is regarded as swimming’s MVP – a term I have used before but that cap certainly fits.

Emma McKeon prfesentation 2

FLYBY MEDALLISTS: The women’s 50m butterfly podium Brianna Throssell, Emma McKeon and Emily Seebohm. Photo Courtesy: Anthony Burns (Homepix).

The 25-year-old just keeps on getting the job done – adding the 200m freestyle in 1:55.38 – another NSW All-Comers Record time and the fourth fastest time in the world in 2020 –coming on top of her wins in the 100m freestyle (53.00) and a rare win over Cate Campbell and the 50 and 100m butterfly (56.36) in another Australian and NSW All-Comers record. WATCH THE BACK END OF THE WOMEN’S 200M FREESTYLE HERE

And her most pertinent comments of the weekend were: “The 100m freestyle (beating Cate Campbell in 53.00) was really good; that’s the quickest I’ve been unrested and I’m really enjoying my swimming at the moment so that’s making a big difference.”

McKeon is in a happy place and it tells in the water where she and coach Michael Bohl appear to be stirring the pot with just the right mixture and if they continue to get the ingredients right then let’s pray “The birds of Tokyo” take flight.

Hot on the heels of McKeon and Campbell is Marion’s Madison Wilson – who was third in the 50 and 100m freestyle and second to McKeon in the 200m freestyle after clocking the second fastest heat time in the 400m freestyle in a personal best of 4:13.20 – her fastest ever time – but she withdrew from the final to concentrate on the rest of her program.

Personal bests across the board followed in the 50m freestyle (24.74 – 10th fastest Australian), 100m freestyle (53.50 – 7th fastest Australian) and 200m freestyle (1:56.60 – equal 6th fastest Australian with one Stephanie Rice) – and you might say the move to Adelaide and coach Peter Bishop has been a good one.

Meanwhile Kaylee McKeown (WATCH THE 50M BACKSTROKE VIDEO ABOVE WITH MCKEOWN IN THE GREEN COSTUMES) wasn’t giving an inch to her rivals again – no matter who they are as she continued her whitewash of the women’s backstroke events – adding the 50m backstroke to her previous wins in the 100m and 200m both in NSW All-Comers records – with a comfortable victory in 27.57 (just outside her best) and too good for Emily Seebohm (Griffith University) 28.16, Minna Atherton (Brisbane Grammar) 28.24 and Wilson (Marion) 28.29 after earlier winning the 200m IM for good measure in 2:10.08 – and in a canter.

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ABREAST OF THE TIMES: Matthew Wilson wraps up the breaststroke treble winning his pet 200m title with an impressive 2:09.60 swim. Photo Courtesy: Anthony Burns AP

Former world record holder Matt Wilson (Sydney Olympic Swim Club) added his specialist 200m butterfly to his earlier wins in the 50 and 100m breaststrokes – clocking an impressive 2:09.60 with coach Adam Kable not expecting anything special with his young charge in heavy work.

Fellow local boys See Bom-Le (Carlile) was a more than comfortable win in the men’s 400 IM in 4:19.55 while Loreto Normanhurst’s William Yang continued his rise in the backstroke ranks winning the 100m backstroke in 54.33 – showing his outstanding underwater skills from 200m backstroke winner Tristan Hollard (Southport Olympic) 54.85 and Bradley Woodward (Mingara) 55.16.

In other events: while TSS Aquatic dual Olympian Cam McEvoy won the 50m freestyle in 22.48; and team mate Kiah Melverton added her extraordinary 13th State title of the season taking out the 1500m freestyle in 16:14.66 – her third title here after winning the 400 and 800m freestyle.









  1. avatar

    great 100m fly time… just curious why Matthew Temple also scratched from the 100m fly? that would have been an interesting head to head as Temple has also been sub 52s lately.