Kyle Chalmers Withdraws from Australian World Championships Team

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Photo Courtesy: Singapore Swimming Federation

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Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers has made the decision to withdraw from the 2017 FINA World Championships team and will by-pass Budapest to focus on his long-term swimming career.

The break will enable Chalmers and his medical team to further explore his heart condition, known as Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT), without the added responsibility of having to be in peak form and ready to compete for Australia in July.

The decision was not made lightly and involved careful consultation with Chalmers’ doctor, his coach Peter Bishop and Australian Dolphins Swim Team Head Coach, Jacco Verhaeren.

On making the tough decision, Bishop said, “We decided it was in Kyle’s best long term interest to get the surgery done sooner rather than later. This will enable Kyle a good recovery period, before preparing for a home Commonwealth Games in 2018”

Swimming Australia Head Coach Verhaeren said the health and well-being of all of the athletes was of paramount importance.

“We are at the beginning of a new Olympic cycle, and for some of our athletes we need to look at longevity to allow them to stay at the highest level for longer. For some that may mean having more of a focus on study, a different season planning with other competitions, or the chance to follow up a niggling injury or medical issue and then comeback refreshed and revitalised when it is right for them.

“Kyle has our full support and we know he will use this time away from competition positively and to his advantage to return for a home Commonwealth Games in 2018 and beyond,” Verhaeren said.

Chalmers will have the surgery in the coming weeks, while decisions regarding his replacement in the individual 100m freestyle event in Budapest will take place internally and be announced shortly.

Press release courtesy of Swimming Australia. 


  1. avatar
    Michael Maloney

    I think WORLD championship medals count a little more than the Goodwill games. It’s 2 months away….but it’s his legacy…

    • avatar

      I’d suggest World Championship medals count a lot ….. but Olympics are the main game; in any case post Olympics years almost always see most nations in a state of flux with retirements; others either in ‘holding pattern’ unsure of their long term future or taking sabbaticals from the sport; others changing coaches/training programs.

      As for “pecking order”, I’d say its Olympics far & above then Worlds. Next level Euros & Pan Pacs (for non Euros) then a considerable gap below Pan Ams, Asian Games then Comm Games (which will probably be euthenased soon).

      As for Chalmers, it was the only responsible decision to take. One’s health & survival are a lot more important than any sporting career, however distinguished. What is a concern is that there was a previous procedure performed when he was younger but it clearly did not rectify the arrythmia. Here’s hoping this surgery does succeed and he is able to enjoy a full recovery; should that include him returning to intl competition and his previous levels of performance then that’s a bonus

      • avatar
        Michael Maloney

        I agree almost 100 %….but why did he/they let him swim in the Aust Nats and Qualify for Worlds if this was going on all the time…..just saying…gets everyone hyped up and then drops out…..same with Campbell…..Your Legacy is OLYMPICS..WORLDS..EUROS..etc…so why SKIP a year..when NOTHING is sure in this world….i.e Franklin…Schmitt and a Host of other who think that oh….ill just get better next year and IT never comes…

      • avatar

        To reply to Michael below.

        Re Chalmers, there was certainly a significant issue with this condition late last year but perhaps he/his support team believed or were medically advised that this was not necessarily ongoing and it may well have been the case that they had an extended period of months through Nationals without a recurrance until recently. Again neither of us have the full story

        As for C1, in many ways I think she’s in somewhat of a state of limbo. She’s still training seriously and competing but backing away from testing herself at the highest level. Personally I have some unease with that as somewhere along the way, she IS going to have to face those demons IF she is seriously going on to Tokyo. Either you take a straight “time out” from the sport or you resume normal service; not have an “each way bet”. Then again, those are her decisions to take/make

        As for the wider picture, as I said post Olympic years are always somewhat of a state of flux with a significant number still uncertain as to how long they will continue their competitive career. It is probably much different for US swimmers who outside NCAAs don’t really have any other major intl meets which swimmers may chose as their farewell unlike Euro nations with the Euro Championships, Asians with Asian Games & Commonwealth countries with Comm Games. For a number of AUS swimmers, I expect next April will see a number of rather significant names collect their superannuation payouts despite few if any yet stating this WILL be the case.