Australian Trials: How Kyle Chalmers Overcame Crippling Back Spasms To Qualify For A Third Olympic Campaign In Paris

Kyle Chalmers
SECRET AGONY: Kyle Chalmers all smiles after winning the 100m freestyle in Brisbane last night. Little did Australia know what their sprint king had suffered in the lead up to the big race. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Australian Trials: How Kyle Chalmers Overcame Crippling Back Spasms To Qualify For A Third Olympic Campaign In Paris

Aussie freestyle sprint king Kyle Chalmers has revealed how a crippling back injury almost derailed his Paris Olympic campaign after qualifying for a third Olympic Games in Brisbane last night.

The huge crowd at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre and the National TV audience watching live in prime time around the country had no idea what Chalmers had gone through just to get behind the blocks – keeping it under wraps until after he had qualified.

The 25-year-old had cortisone injections and daily treatments from the Australian team physiotherapist to get him to the Australian Trials after suffering excruciating pain 10 days ago.

Chalmers forced to take time off from his gardening labourers’ job on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – his new training base under one if his best mates, Head Coach at the St Andrews School, Ashley Delaney.

Chalmers revealing the moment he woke up stiff after a day off the tools and suffered back spasms at training.

“I tried to do a dive and it just all spasmed and locked up,” Chalmers said.

“So I saw the physios and doctors and the best thing I could do was to get four cortisones in my lower back and try to get moving again.

“Obviously I’ve had ankle and shoulder problems in my career, but when you have one of them, you can kind of use your other three limbs to get around it. Whereas the back is the controller of everything.

“I’m just grateful to be here racing today and be back on the mend. I know that I can get it right in six weeks time but having only 10 days is probably not a huge amount of time, really.

“Today’s actually the best day it’s felt … I’ve been seeing the physio four times a day since I’ve been here just trying to loosen everything off and activate everything so that I’m able to swim.

“I think I’ve put on a pretty brave face to be able to get through, but it’s definitely been quite challenging just getting in and out of bed and starting the day and it’s just something that kind of sticks in the back of your mind.”

Chalmers rated his qualification onto his third Olympic team the most emotional of his career, given his well-publicised injury history including ankle, shoulder and heart surgery plus mental health battles.

The 2016 Olympic champion and 2020 silver medallist Kyle Chalmers (St Andrews, QLD) overcoming the pain and anguish to qualify for his third Olympics – winning his pet evet the 100m freestyle in 47.75 (22.81) from Will Yang (SOSC, NSW) in 48.08 and Flynn Southam (Bond, QLD) 48.11, Jack Cartwright (St Peters Western, QLD) 48.40, Kai Taylor (St Peters Western, QLD) 48.57 with Zac Incerti (USC Spartans, QLD) rounding out the top six in 48.73 – all strong contenders for Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

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2 days ago

Terrible run ‘King Kyle ‘ has had with heslth problems. This latedt explains why the slower than hoped for time in Trials. Really hope he is ok at aoaris and can medal a last time in the Individual 100m.

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