Aussie 100 Free Champion Kyle Chalmers: “I Feel Like A 17-Yr-Old Kid Again”


Night four of the 2023 Australian World Championship Trials was arguably the most explosive yet, with the likes of Kyle Chalmers, Flynn Southam, Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown all in the pool.

Each qualified for their respective event during the finals, expanding the green and gold roster for next month in Fukuoka.

Hear what each had to say regarding their performance and outlook for this year’s most important competition.

Kyle Chalmers – gold medalist, men’s 100m freestyle, 47.44

“I think I’ve re-found myself massively in the pool this year and I’m having a lot of fun in the pool but having a lot more fun out of the pool, which is, I think, massively contributing to my success in the pool this year. It’s made me really enjoy the sport again and love it and probably refound my passion and reason why I’m doing it.
“I’ve kind of always had that question of ‘what are you going to do after swimming’ and I think that’s something I’ve quite struggled with in the past not knowing where I’m going to go.
“But this year I started working on a job site a couple of days a week… I’ve never worked a day in my life apart from swimming which I think is great because my job is the best thing in the world.
“At some point, I’m going to have to transition into the real world, being able to put myself out there in that world where I’m the bottom of the ranks, industry I love and I’m passionate about, I love nothing more than going to work and I think it’s making me a whole lot happier in the pool and also I think having these young guys come through, pushing me.
“I’ve been so excited, so energized I feel like I’m a 17-year-old kid again rocking up to race, I think that showed in my first 50m of the race which probably took away from my back end a little bit.
“But I know that in five weeks time I can swim a whole lot faster. I’ve been around the mark for quite some time now and a World Championships gold medal is something that has evaded me throughout my career and something that I’m desperate to do before my time is done.” 

Flynn Southam – silver medalist, men’s 100m freestyle – 47.77

“[Tonight’s race] was a bit of contrast before the 200m, I was really worried about a time and trying to win and I ended up having a really bad swim. So for me just going out there and being a kid and being myself, not trying to swim like Kyle, but get next to him, race him and use it as much as possible.
“I’ve had a lot of life changing stuff that’s happened out of the pool in the past 12 months… being overseas and some loved ones passing away, for me it is just bigger than sport.
“I put the work in every day and I leave no stone unturned so for me to come out here and do that [time] it’s a relief, but at the same time it’s exciting because I’m just hitting the tip of the iceberg at the moment.”
On potential men’s relay:
“If we can do something like the guys did in 2000 in the 4×100, that would be the best thing ever. I think that’s a common goal [among Australian men] and the camaraderie in the marshalling room was just great.”

Ariarne Titmus – gold medalist, women’s 800m free – 8:15.88

“The job’s done, I’m on the plane and now my focus has to shift to Worlds. I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then and I feel like if I get my head into gear I can do it.”
On the 800m race
“I think it does potentially get overlooked because Katie [Ledecky] is in a class of her own in the 800. I believe her world record is going to stand for a long time. So for me I feel like the training I do probably is for the 400 particularly, but we do speed work for the 200m and aerobic stuff complements the 800m.
“I feel like all the training I do is great for all three… all three of them are opportunities to race for Australia and win medals for our country.”

Kaylee McKeown – gold medalist, women’s 200m back – 2:03.70

“I’m still learning how to pace a 200m with that easy out-speed so I think I probably went out a little bit too hard and didn’t have my back end like I usually do, but in saying that I’m super happy with the time. I would have never thought in a million years I would have been able to go under 2.04 let alone twice now.

“I’m fully expecting both world records to plummet if not next week, at the World Championships, so I’m fighting for Paris really.”

On what she wants to do before the World Championships:
“There are a few things I think me, is just trusting myself mentally, I know my body is more than capable of doing it but sometimes I can get in my own and any prep talk I have before I go to Bohly [coach] is like ‘don’t get in your own way’. So that is just something I’ve got to learn to manage.”

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Gaglianone’s boot
8 months ago

Every statement kyle chalmers makes is a massive dramatization. Always on a mission to remind everyone he’s one foot out the door or reborn again multiple times a year.

8 months ago

Something only a 24 year old would say?

8 months ago

He feels like a 17yo again? Has he found yet another new girl?

Personal Best
8 months ago

Great collections of quotes – loving the insight we’re not getting in the stream haha

Caeleb Remel Cultist
8 months ago

Chalmers made an excuse in Gwangju that if he had the same reaction time as Dressel and if his skills were better he would have won.

In Tokyo he complained about swimming extra races more than Dressel (prelims 4*100 + finals 4*200) + reaction time again.

This time around Popovici will swim 3*200 freestyles more than him and he doesn’t have better skills. Will he create another excuse after Popovici pops a 46.5 in Fukuoka ?

Reply to  Caeleb Remel Cultist
8 months ago

He complained? I think he pointed out facts. He has great respect for Dressel.

Personal Best
Reply to  Joel
8 months ago

lol – how dare he admit his competitor had better skills than him?! What? Just making excuses left right and centre.

Seriously people put way too much energy into hating someone, and hold on to such anger.

Reply to  Caeleb Remel Cultist
8 months ago

Admitting his skills are worse is hardly making an excuse and Dressel even admitted he bypassed the 4×200 relay in order to preserve himself for the 100 free so I don’t see how you can criticise Chalmers.

Last edited 8 months ago by Troyy
Reply to  Caeleb Remel Cultist
8 months ago

LOL you people really try so desperately to be offended by every single thing, don’t you?

Reply to  Caeleb Remel Cultist
8 months ago

“An Australian swam well so I can’t criticise them. I know! I’ll fabricate a scenario in my head where they don’t swim well and criticise that!” 😂

8 months ago

Let the head games begin! You know they are psyched and will be ready to rick-n-roll at World’s.

8 months ago

“I’m fully expecting both world records to plummet if not next week, at the World Championships, so I’m fighting for Paris really.” 💀Wow💀

Reply to  Wow
8 months ago

This is great! Basically saying “My World Records aren’t going to last til Paris so I don’t care if they get beaten. I’m ready to beat them too”.

8 months ago

Some quotes about McKeon from Michael Bohl from elsewhere:

“Emma’s not going to be at Tokyo Olympics [level] here but she’s still swimming well enough to put a reasonable 100 together,” said Bohl, McKeon’s long-time coach.

“Emma wants to work, but I’m protecting her a little bit because I know what’s going to happen next year. It’s going to be a big year physically and emotionally and I didn’t want to exhaust everything. We’ve been a little more controlled.

“She’s swimming relatively well, but she’s not at that level. There’s no stress about that.

“She’ll be 30 at the next Olympics if she makes it. She’s seen Michael Phelps perform well as a 31-year-old, so there’s people before who have… Read more »

Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

Oh interesting. She may not end up with individual spots in the 50 or 100 free then.

She seemed a little slower in LCM last year but after she destroyed Short Course Worlds I thought she was golden.

Even if she doesn’t qualify individually in free it wouldn’t surprise me if she still gets a lot of relay duties because her splits are consistently much faster than her flat.

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

How I read Bohl’s comments are that:

  • she is not at Tokyo level this year
  • “here” relates to this meet, people are conflating that to include Worlds.

My read on McKeon taking in these comments:

  • She was in career best form and condition in 2021 and was dropping world leading times in her best events (50/100free) almost at will. That career best form was … a level significantly above everyone else in those events.
  • she IS likely to be stronger/better in Fukuoka. Not 2021 level but still likely to be very much at the pointy end of her best events; maybe finals level in fly and still capable of a sub52 split for 4X100
Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

She was guided to 7 medals in Tokyo by her team, they must know what they are doing…..

Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

That is so smart

Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

Basically the cycle is off

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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