Kyle Chalmers Thrills His Hometown Crowd With A Powerhouse Final Lap Burst To Book His Seat For Tokyo

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KYLE COMFORT: Kyle Chalmers and his mate Zac Incerti who faces another nervous wait. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Kyle Chalmers Thrills His Hometown Crowd With A Powerhouse Final Lap Burst To Book His Seat For Tokyo

Olympic 100m freestyle champion, Kyle Chalmers has produced one of his famous powerhouse finishes to book his place on the plane to Tokyo – thrilling his home town crowd with a stirring victory in the 200m freestyle on night two of the Australian Trials in Adelaide tonight.

After a drama charged morning the men’s 200m freestyle field was finally settled after a disqualified Zac Incerti – Chalmers best mate from WA – won his appeal after the jury reversed the ruling that he had moved at the start in his heat and Matt Temple’s withdrawal from the final gave Mack Horton a reprieve – after he clocked the ninth fastest time from the heats.

AUS CHAMPS Kyle dive

FINELY TUNED: Kyle Chalmers about to take the plunge to a second Olympics campaign. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

And all this after Horton had missed the team and the chance to defend his 400m Olympic crown on the night before – but the swimming gods shone on the popular Melbourne Vicentre champion who earned a late start and maybe even a call up for Australia’s 4x200m freestyle relay team – with UWA West Coaster Incerti.

The last event of the night,saw Clyde Lewis and Incerti who were fired up early, leading through the first 50m in 24.41, before fastest qualifier Alex Graham took control of the race, leading through the 100m in 1:50.95 and holding on at the 150m at 1:17.89.

But all the while his fellow black-capped rivals Chalmers on his right and former training partner, 400m winner from the night before  Elijah Winnington on his left were moving through at a rate of knots.

And it was Chalmers who executed his trademark big finish to perfection with Winnington edging out Graham for the second crucial individual spot.

In the end it was Chalmers first in 1:45.48 from Winnington (1:45.55) and emerging 20-year-old Rackley young gun, Thomas Neill (backing up from his eye-cvatching fourth placed 400m last night)snatching third in 1:45.70 – Graham, fourth in 1:45.71 – all under the qualifying time of 1:45.76 – and booking relay spots for their first Olympics.

Incerti (1:46.18) and Horton (1:46.33) will both have nervous waits but both could well find themselves on the team as well – and if so the dramas that unfolded today will be a telling fact in their Olympic journeys.

An Adelaide boy through and through, Chalmers held the home crowd in the palm of his hand after the race, saying: “I love racing and I love racing against my mates especially in front of my home crowd.”

And going to Tokyo as an Olympic champion?

“it’s not all that different for me personally…I know exactly what I have to do in training and we now have five weeks to get going,” said Chalmers, who admitted that if the Olympics were last year he may not have been in the best shape, given his shoulder issues.

“My shoulder was no good so to be back swimming and back swimming here tonight is so good for my confidence. I’m really looking forward to it now….”

Men’s 400m freestyle

1 Kyle Chalmers 1:45.48

2 Elijah Winnington 1:45.55

3 Thomas Neill 1:45.70

4 Alexander Graham 1:45.71

5 Zac Incerti 1:46.18

6 Mack Horton 1:46.33

7 Clyde Lewis 1:46.60

8 Jack McLoughlin 1:46.80

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TOKYO HERE I COME: Southport Olympic’s Chelsea Hodges with that “I’m off to  Tokyo” smile. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

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YEAH BABY: And a hug from second placed Jess Hansen who will join her on the plane. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Meanwhile looking to go under 1:06.97, Chelsea Hodges (Southport Olympic) has booked her place on the team after she took the top spot in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke. First to the wall in aa stunning personal best time of 1:05.99, she was joined by  Jess Hansen (Cruiz Swim) who claimed the second spot in 1:06.69 – in a renewed show of strength in Australia’s breaststroke ranks.

And dual Olympian St Peters Western’s Mitch Larkin was seeking a third Olympic appearance when he took to the water in Men’s 100m Backstroke. Hitting the mark required of 53.40 right on the money – in an out of character performance but still quick enough to put him on the team ahead of 17-year-old rising Rackley star, former Bundaberg boy Isaac Cooper – one of the real finds of the meet who pushed Larkin all the way to the wall- stopping the clock in his second personal best of thew day – in 53.49 – just 0.09 outside the automatic qualifying time.

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THIRD TIME LUCKY: Mitch Larkin swims the exact qualifying time to earn himself a spot on his third Olympic team.Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).