Disclaimer: Dolfin Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Dolfin Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Australia’s Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers had a stellar national championships meet last week, highlighted by a new personal best in the 100 free.
Chalmers won his Olympic title in 2016 on an absurd back half – not an entirely common strategy in the more sprint-oriented 100 free. But Chalmers is proving that that closing speed is sustainable as he continues to find a way to close his 100 better than anyone else in the world.
In Rio in 2016, Chalmers split 23.14/24.44 for his two 50s, en route to a 47.58. This week in South Australia, Chalmers split 23.08/24.40, actually going out almost a tenth faster while coming home a few hundredths faster. He’s shown improvements at both ends of his range (he went a lifetime-best 50 free last week, cutting from 22.15 to 22.07; meanwhile his 200 free has dropped from 1:47.23 in 2016 to 1:45.56 at last year’s Commonwealth Games) and is looking like the next in a long line of Australian standouts in the 100 freestyle.
With an Olympic gold already in his trophy case, Chalmers should be one of the favorites for World Championships gold this summer. The 20-year-old hasn’t yet won an individual Worlds medal after missing the 2017 edition while recovering from heart surgery. Chalmers did win silver as part of a relay in 2015. His 2018 was magificent, though, with four golds and a silver at Commonwealth Games and one gold, two silvers and a bronze at Pan Pacs.
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