Japan Open: Kyle Chalmers Clocks 48.28 to Win 100m Freestyle And Sam Williamson Swims Doha Qualifier in 100m Breaststroke

Kyle Chalmers 2 SYD OPEN Day 2 Photo Delly Carr
BACK IN THE SWING OF THINGS: Kyle Chalmers limbering up for another Olympic campaign. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming NSW).

Japan Open: Kyle Chalmers Clocks 48.28 to Win 100m Freestyle And Sam Williamson Swims Doha Qualifier in 100m Breaststroke

Australia’s world champion Kyle Chalmers has produced one of his trademark finishes to clock a solid 48.28 to win the 100m freestyle and kick start his 2023-24 Olympic campaign at the Japan Open overnight.

 While Dolphins teammate Sam Williamson continued to breathe some life into Australia’s breaststroke ranks winning the B final in a personal best time and a World Championship qualifier of 59.26 – a time which would have won the A final.

Sam Williamson smile AUS CHAMPS 23

SAM’S PLAN B: Sam, Williamson wins Japan Open B Final in a World Championship qualifier. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Rio 2016 Olympic champion, Chalmers (Marion, SA/SASI) had to chase Adelaide-based German training-partner Josha Salchow, who charged down the first 50m in 23.17 to Chalmers 23.31.

But it was one of world swimming’s biggest finishers who came from behind to out-touch Salchow (48.39) ahead of Japan’s Tomonobu Gomi (49.00) third home; two other Marion swimmers from the Peter Bishopgroup, Olympian Matt Temple taking home the B final in 48.83 with new recruit Dylan Andrea third in 49.96.

Temple (22.40) had earlier finished second to Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto (23.26) in the 50m butterfly final with Naoki Mizunuma (23.52) third.

It was a bitter-sweet day for Williamson (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC) who had finished equal 12th in the preliminaries of the men’s 100m breaststroke – missing the A final, only to turn his day around to swim faster than he had ever swum after the week-long breaststroke training camp at the Tokyo Institute of Sport – the fastest time of the day.

Williamson’s 59.26 was over half-a-second faster than A final winner, Japan’s 2022 World Championship silver medallist over 200m, Tu Hanaguruma (59.77) with another Australian Joshua Yong (UWA West Coast, WA) fourth home in a blanket finish for the minors in 1:00.11 (a fraction outside his best of 59.99) with just 0.22 between second and sixth.

And for Williamson his time was 0.56 secs faster than he had ever swum – his previous best of 59.92, swum to take home the bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – and the fastest time swum by an Australian in five years – behind Jake Packard’s 59.20 to finish second at the 2018 Pan Pacs.

The time is also 0.24 under the Qualifying time set by Swimming Australia to be considered for the Dolphins team for February’s World Aquatics Championships in Doha.

In other Australian results: Matilda Smith (Miami, QLD) finished sixth in the women’s 100m breaststroke final in 1:07.72 – with Tokyo Olympic medley relay gold medallist Chelsea Hodges eighth in 1:08.24 – Japan’s 28-year-old Reona Aoki winning the A final in 1:06.24.

While in the B final Ella Ramsay (Chandler, QLD) won in 1:07.77 from Tara Kinder (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC) in 1:08.49, with Talara-Jade Dixon (St Hildas, WA) clocking 1:08.86) for fourth.

Nunawading’s Will Petric (4:15.80) finished eighth in the 400IM won by Tokyo 200m butterfly silver medallist and Asian Championship 400IM gold medallist Tomoru Honda in 4:09.98.

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