Kyle Chalmers Looking Forward to Australia’s 4×200 Free Relay Chances (QUOTES)

Australia had the second fastest 4x200 free relay team in 2018 behind the United States; Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

In what was the most highly anticipated race of night, the Men’s 200m Freestyle did not disappoint as Marion’s Kyle Chalmers powered home to narrowly edge out Clyde Lewis from St Peters Western.

With eight lanes of pure talent stacked in the final at the Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials, Chalmers touched in 1:45.76 in the 200m free-for-all ahead of Lewis who posted 1:45.88. The crowd was on the edge of their seats as they witnessed Chalmers hunt Lewis in the final stages of the race. The pair both posted times under the world championship qualifying time of 1:46.28.

Speaking after the race, Chalmers said this result would give him plenty of confidence.

“I probably haven’t done too many great two hundreds this year so I was kind of doubting myself a little bit, but this morning was a really good confidence booster knowing I can swim that fast in the mornings and feel comfortable, and then I knew I could go a bit faster tonight which was great,” Chalmers said.

The quality of the race bodes well for Australia’s 4x200m relay team, with Bond’s Alex Graham (also under the qualifying time), Chandler’s Jack McLoughlin and Melbourne Vicentre’s Mack Horton also finishing with strong times.

“The relay is something I really want to be a part of, I know that it is potentially our best shot of getting a medal in a relay. It is not only the four guys that are going to swim on that night, but I think the eight who were in the final tonight are really competitive in that event and put us all together, hopefully we can do something really special,” Chalmers added.

“It is great to be able to swim well individually but swimming well for your country and as a relay team is for me the best part about swimming and something that I enjoy doing the most.”

Capitalising on her brilliant form from this morning’s heat, Brisbane Grammar’s Minna Atherton remarkably went better than the personal best time she set in the heats, clocking a time of 59.20 in the Women’s 100m Backstroke. Her time – under the world championship qualifying prerequisite of 59.82 – also places her third on the Australian all-time top ten fastest times. Only .08 seconds behind the 19-year-old was young USC Spartan Kaylee McKeown. Backing up her 200m individual medley triumph on night one, the teenager posted an impressive time of 59.28 in her favored stroke to also see her achieve the qualifying time ahead of Rockingham’s Holly Barratt who touched in third in 1:00.24.

Not missing a beat in the Men’s 100m Backstroke, Commonwealth and Australian record holder Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) blitzed the field to touch first in a speedy time of 52.38. His performance – in which he also broke the All Comers Record – will most likely see him compete at the World Championships after attaining the qualifying time of 53.76. Placing second was Sydney University’s William Yang who clocked 54.46 and Bradley Woodward (Mingara Aquatic) who posted 54.61.

“Yeah, I’m happy with that – this morning was a really good swim and I set it up really well with nice stroke rates,” Larkin said post-race.

“I knew I was swimming well, my body is in great shape and I have done lots of work and tonight was just about trusting myself and not rushing.”

The new Olympic event – the Women’s 1500m – saw a showdown between TSS Aquatics teammates Madeleine Gough and Kiah Melverton. After swimming 30 laps it incredibly came down to the wire, with only 0.07 separating the pair. In the end it was Gough who came out on top – 15:56.39 to 15:56.46. In a competitive field of swimmers, and with the world championship qualifying time set at 16.20.98 – the top five athletes all swum under the required time. Cotton Tree’s Lani Pallister, who came third in a time of 16:06.84, knocked her mother and Olympian Janelle Pallister off the Australian all-time top ten fastest list.

Fighting all the way to the wall in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke was Nunawading’s Jess Hansen and Bond’s Jenna Strauch. Recording times of 1:07.06 and 1:07.79 respectively, the duo missed the qualifying time of 1:06.81 and also edged out this year’s national champion Abbey Harkin (St Peters Western) who touched in 1:07.93.

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