World Championships, Day Three Finals: Kyle Chalmers Wins 100 Free In CR; WJR For Popovici

Kyle Chalmers: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

Deep Blue Media

World Championships, Day Three Men’s Finals: Kyle Chalmers Wins 100 Free In CR: WJR For Popovici

Kyle Chalmers won his first short-course world title with a final 25 blast to take the 100 free in a championship record of 45.16 at the World Championships in Melbourne.

David Popovici lowered the WJR he set in the semis from 45.91 to 45.64.

Jordan Crooks had qualified first and hinted heavily at claiming the Cayman Islands’ first medal in history.

The University of Tennessee swimmer was inside world-record pace at the halfway point and still led at the final turn by 0.09 ahead of Chalmers.

However, the Australian’s last 25 of 11.85 propelled him to the head of the field and into the wall, taking 0.35 from Vladimir Morozov‘s championship mark of 45.51 that had stood since Doha worlds in 2014.

It was the joint 10th fastest time in history with Chalmers sitting atop the all-time world rankings with his WR of 44.84.

Chalmers’ splits:


Maxime Grousset was second in 45.41 and 2021 champion Alessandro Miressi third in 45.47 as he equalled his Italian record with Popovici in fourth, 0.17 off the podium, the Romanian improving through the rounds despite asserting his “hatred” of short-course after the semis.

Crooks was joint sixth alongside Pan Zhanie of China in 45.77 following a final 25 of 12.55.

Chalmers told Channel 9 following the race:

“It is very, very special doing it in front of my friends and family..I spend a lot of time racing overseas.

“To have my grandparents here who very rarely get the chance to see me swim live and my brother who hasn’t been able to watch me for a very long time and all the support of my family and friends back home.

“It is always very special if I can inspire my friends and family and most importantly inspire the next generation to swim and perform…I’ve done my job.

“I knew I had a lot (more) to give after last night’s semi-finals ..I’ve been around a long time now so I know how it all works..I know how the mind games work..I pride myself on progressing each round and swimming faster each round…..I love the build-up to the race.

“I swim with my eyes closed – I knew how to exactly execute the race and it was about doing it for me….I close my eyes..I swim my own race…and it is always important in those big moments I need to swim how I want to swim and how I train to swim…and not get too carried away with what the other guys are doing ….so for me I close my eyes and try and get my hand on the wall as fast as I can.”

It was the fulfilment of a childhood dream for Chalmers who has had to contend with ongoing shoulder problems and health issues that have forced his withdrawal from competitions.

He said:

“I don’t think it’s a relief, I think it something that I am so proud of. It’s something that I dreamed of doing since I was a kid.

“I had to pull out of the last three World Short-Course Championships due to and injuries and health issues. So for me to finally make it one and to stand on the top of the podium is something I am going to remember for the rest of my life.

“The reason I am in the sport and to have success and to execute on the big stage. 

“Tomorrow is one year to the day since I had shoulder surgery which almost potentially ended my career so for me to be back and standing on top of the podium is very special.

“Everyone faces challenges in their swimming career and it’s about people who can rise above those challenges and continue to find ways to win.”

Commanding the spotlight this year has been Popovici, the boy who is already king in the long-course pool.

Much has been made of competition between the two, something Chalmers played down, saying:

“I don’t think it’s a rivalry between David (Popovici) and me.  There are 80 other guys who competed in that race and each of them deserve the same respect that David and I get.

“David and I are going to have some great battles over the years but I know there are 10-15 other guys that could do something amazing when we get to Paris.

“I will chat to David when I have a chance to about the races that we will have ahead.”


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