Chalmers Becomes Australia’s First Men’s 100 Free Champion in 48 years

2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES

It’s not a surprise that Australia’s 48-year drought in the men’s 100 freestyle has ended, but it is a surprise who ended it.

18 year-old Kyle Chalmers came into this meet like a man on a mission, posting two very fast relay splits in the men’s 400 free relay followed by three successive world junior records in the 100 freestyle, culminating with his gold medal performance tonight in a time of 47.58.

Characteristic to the style 2012 silver medalist James Magnussen used to swim this race, Chalmers turned at the 50 metre wall in 7th. He stormed home in a ridiculous 24.44, just two one-hundredths shy of Magnussen’s closing speed in his best swim ever back in March of 2012.

Magnussen managed to improve his front-end speed by four tenths of a second from 2011 to 2012, something that could push Chalmers towards the 47-second barrier later in his career.

The man who was expected to end the 48-year drought was Cameron McEvoy, who set an all-time textile best at the Aussie Trials in April of 47.04. What happened to him in this final is a mystery, as he ended up 7th after being the big favorite coming in. It’s the second straight night we’ve seen the #1 ranked swimmer in the world coming into the meet place 7th, after Laszlo Cseh did it in the 200 fly yesterday.

Chalmers swim is a new world junior record, breaking his semi-final record of 47.88. It’s also another Australian age group record, again breaking his own record.

Australia’s previous men’s 100 free winner was Michael Wenden all the way back in 1968. Both Magnussen in 2012 and McEvoy this year were the ones expected to finally bring the race back to the South, but alas it is the teenager Chalmers.

 

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M Palota

If he figures out how to start and get out under 22.8, this kid – he’s a kid! – is 46.7-ish!

The slowest reaction time in the final and he was 7th(!!) and the turn!

Brute Bradford

18 years old and Olympic gold medalist. A man, not a kid.

Attila the Hunt

Maybe not 46.7, but a 46.90 will do fine.

Attila the Hunt

I have to ask this again:

Why should Michael Andrew hog all the hundreds of swimswam articles and hype and limelight while Kyle Chalmers who is only a few months older is Olympics Champion……… in 100 free! ?

swimdoc

Slow news days.

JudgeNot

Chalmers will be a national hero in Oz like no swimmers (even Phelps or Ledecky) are here in the US – their entire country seems to “get” swimming. It’s OK – he’ll make out fine. And he’s only going to get faster.

commonwombat

Not really, once the Olympics are over; the public will tune out to swimming and the sporting media switch back to the various football codes. Some swimmers may be able to parlay Olympic success into some commercial backing or media visibility but, as a school kid yet to finish his high school education, he may not be well placed.

JudgeNot

Really? That’s a shame. I thought better of y’all. You’re just like us? 😉

commonwombat

We tend to share it around. Different codes have dominance/precedence in various states.

Robbos

Exactly in 2 weeks time we will go back to finding what Jarryd Hayne, who had a couple of games in the NFL had for breakfast or what Dangerfield said to his girlfriend yesterday!!!! Just like the rest of the world with their footballs.
However, Chalmers will be a star

swimdoc

Boy did McEvoy lay an egg.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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