World Championships, Day 5 Finals: Kyle Chalmers Claims Elusive Prize With Late Surge In 100 Free

Kyle Chalmers of Australia celebrates after winning the gold medal in the 100m Freestyle Men Final during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 27th, 2023.
Kyle Chalmers: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

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World Championships, Day 5 Finals: Kyle Chalmers Claims Elusive Prize With Late Surge In 100 Free

Kyle Chalmers finally claimed the one prize that was missing from his collection when he won the 100 free with a late surge at the World Championships.

Chalmers – at 25 the oldest man in the field – came strong in the final metres to overhaul long-time leader Jack Alexy out in lane eight to take the title in 47.15 with the American second in 47.31.

Maxime Grousset – who won silver at the Budapest worlds last year – took bronze from lane one in 47.42 on a good day for the outside smokers.

All bar Nandor Nemeth went 47 with Pan Zhanle 0.21 off his Asian record in 47.43, locked out of the podium by 0.01.

Matt Richards – seeking to become the third man to win the 100/200 double – was fifth as he set his third British record in as many races in 47.45.

Defending champion David Popovici was sixth in 47.83, the world record-holder leaving Fukuoka without a medal after double glory last year in Budapest and then at the European Championships in Rome.

Jordan Crooks – the 50 short-course world champion – (47.94) and Nemeth (48.17) were seventh and eighth respectively.

Kyle Chalmers of Australia competes in the 100m Freestyle Men Final during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 27th, 2023.

Kyle Chalmers: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Before today, Chalmers had won every 100 title available to him – Olympic, Commonwealth, Pan-Pacs, world short-course and world junior – bar one.

Silver behind Caeleb Dressel at the 2019 edition in Gwangju was the closest he had come.

Chalmers was joint seventh at halfway in 23.04 as Alexy went out in 22.48 and such was the lead held by the American – who only squeaked into the final by 0.02 in eighth – that it appeared he’d be on course for gold.

However, he came back in 24.11 – by 0.28 the fastest split of the field – to come through at the death.

It was his second gold of the meet so far after he anchored Australia to the men’s 4×100 free title.

Of how special it was given gold threatened to elude him, Chalmers said:

“It’s one that I’ve been desperate to do for quite some time and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have doubt in my mind at times if I’d be able to achieve that.

“But to stand up and get the job done tonight: there’s always a lot of pressure and expectation on me to perform and win gold.

“So that’s a moment that I’ll cherish for a very long time and like I just said before, it’s amoment that I train for six days a week, 50 weeks of the year.

“The exact feeling that I am feeling right now is standing on top of that podium singing my national anthem proudly having a gold medal around my neck.”

Chalmers was just 18 when he became Olympic champion at Rio 2016 and there were times when he questioned whether he could replicate that form.

He said:

“I wanted to make sure that early on that it wasn’t a fluke. I think there were times where I thought I’d never get back to swimming fast. I wasn’t overly fast for probably two years after Rio – I think the best time I swam was Pan-Pacs in 2018, I was 48.00 -luckily I won that so that was another title that I had tick off along the career.

“But for me to stand up as a 25-year-old – the oldest guy in that race tonight – and stand on top of the podium finally in a world championship final, is so special.

Kyle Chalmers of Australia celebrates after winning the gold medal in the 100m Freestyle Men Final during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 27th, 2023.

Kyle Chalmers: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

“It’s a moment that I’ve envisioned for quite some time: I ‘m a guy, I train to win, I don’t train just to make up the numbers, I want to win the race every time, I’m a competitive beast.

“For me I am very happy with that and you know, there’s been some challenging times definitely. Winning at such a young age and learning how to deal with that and the expectation and pressure that comes with that.

“But I think I’m at a point now in my career where I am able to enjoy the moment, stay relaxed.

“Tonight I’ve probably never felt calmer in a championship final and I think it’s just due to the amount of racing I’ve done over this last period of World Cups and ISL and world short-course last year.

“I’ve got a lot of familiar faces and friends I’m able to sit down and talk to and I know how to execute my race to the best of my ability now.”

Alexy And Grousset From The Outside

There were no American men on the 100 podium last year where Popovici was joined by Grousset and Josh Liendo of Canada.

Alexy said:

“I’m pretty happy to come back after that semi-final swim getting messed up at the start.

“I knew I could have just a little chance of medalling or even winning that event.

“I’m very happy that I did and made myself proud and very happy.”

Maxime Grousset of France prepares to compete in the Men's Butterfly 50m Semifinal during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 23rd, 2023.

Maxime Grousset: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Grousset claimed his second bronze of the Fukuoka meet so far following third in the 50 fly to bring to five his world medals across three editions.

The Frenchman said:

“I have a big start, very good sensation, very good feeling, and I forgot everybody behind me and just focused on me and my lane.”

Next up for Richards is the 4×2 as Britain look to claim their third title, two years after getting within 0.03 of the USA’s world record en-route to Olympic gold in Tokyo.

He said:

“We knew coming into this meet that all those races would be down to the wire.

“Obviously missing out on the podium by three one hundredths stings, that hurts – but likewise, the same as it was on the 200m but in the opposite way.

“It’s just about keeping the emotions as flat as possible, move on and get ready for the 4×2.

“It’s swings and roundabouts, ups and downs, that’s what sport is about at the end of the day.

“I’m pretty gutted with that but there’ll be lots we can take away from that.

“I think that’s the fastest I’ve been out on the 100 free so there’s lots to take away and there’s still lots of swimming to do this week.”

 

2023-07-27 (2)

 

 

 

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Andrew
Andrew
8 months ago

Congratulations to Kyle Chalmers for the gold medals, and more gold medals to come, he has won multiple gold medals in swimming, showcasing his exceptional talent in the sport.
With the strong support from Gina Rinehart who serves as the patron for Swimming Australia, providing her strong support and influence to make a positive impact to the Australian Team.
Both individuals have made significant contributions in their respective fields, inspiring others through their achievements and dedication.

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