Kai Taylor Takes Advantage Of Kyle Chalmers Absence In 200 Free At Aussie Trials


Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers may have been the top-seeded swimmer out of the heats of the men’s 200m free on day two of the Australian World Championship Trials but it was 19-year-old Kai Taylor who ultimately wound up with the gold.

24-year-old Chalmers produced a morning swim of 1:46.97 to log the sole sub-1:47 outing of the morning heats and grab the top seed. However, Chalmers dropped the final, which meant 9th-seeded Taylor (1:48.37) sneaked into lane 8 for the main event in Melbourne.

And Taylor took full advantage, with the Dean Boxall-trained emerging star embracing his outside smoke status by winning the final in a time of 1:46.25.

Taylor attacked the race, leading from start to finish, opening in 51.56 and closing in 54.69. His time tonight sliced .40 off his best-ever performance of 1:46.65 which rendered him the Aussie national champion last April.

Tonight Taylor held off a field nipping at his heels, with Alex Graham snagging silver in 1:46.68 and Tommy Neill earning bronze in 1:46.85.

The remainder of the pack included last night’s 400m free silver medalist Elijah Winnington producing 4th place 1:46.85 and 18-year-old Flynn Southam clocking 1:47.11 for 5th. Brendon Smith, the 400m IM Olympic bronze medalist, was 6th in 1:47.20.

Post-race Taylor said, “It feels really good. I was disappointed after this morning. Fortunately, Kyle pulled out. I stayed calm and did my thing.”

Chalmers most likely laid down his marker for a slot on the men’s 4x200m free relay for Fukuoka, an event of which the Marion swimmer has been a part on several world-stage appearances. He was a critical component en route to helping the Aussies earn bronze in Tokyo and gold at both the 2019 World Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 months ago

Dressel should take a few notes from Chalmers on how to properly scratch and how to close a 100 free

8 months ago

Australia’s mens 200 free has to be our most overrated event. Sure the race is always close but it’s always talked up to be this big race and the times reflect otherwise. We’ve gone backwards in this race since Thorpe’s time. No one looks brave enough to properly attack the front half of the race like Thorpe said they need to the rest of the world heard Thorpes advice and has made progress in the 200 free meanwhile the Aussies are still stuck pacing the first 150 then trying desperately to sprint the last 50 when they don’t have the energy to do so!

8 months ago

Who would have thought before the start of the season that the 2nd fastest German guy would be 0.4 seconds faster than the fastest Australian guy at this point of the season? On paper the Australian relay doesn’t look like a medal lock, which is really surprising (at least for me). South Korea or even Italy might challenge them for bronze. After today‘s results it would be shocking if they would beat the US or even GB. Also interesting that Australia (just like Canada, but not as extreme) is much weaker on the men’s side.
Taylor swimming a big PB should be a good sign for his 100 free.

Edit: Completely forgot about China in the 800 free relay,… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Sawdust
Emily Se-Bom Lee
8 months ago

just realised that hayley lewis won the 1991 200 free world title from lane 8

Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
8 months ago

Yes – I just said that in live-recap thread (couldn’t watch live tonight so only just caught up).

No wonder she was crying – probz brought back that fond memory.

8 months ago

What a great swim. And such a composed and gracious interview after the race. Well done!

Reply to  tashswam
8 months ago

Just like Mum, he seems calm and composed in post-race interviews. She never got over-excited about anything – even a big win.

And Kai has some of her looks – which I used to think of as ‘mousey’ (in a nice way).

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.

Read More »