Kyle Chalmers Breaks Thorpe’s 100 Meter Record For Second Time; Also Gets 16-Year Olds Mark

15-year old Kyle Chalmers has done even more work on a decade-plus old Ian Thorpe National Age Record on Tuesday. After breaking the mark in the 100 free prelims at the 2014 Australian Age Championships, Chalmers went after it again in finals with a blazing 49.68 in a long course meters pool.

His old record from the morning was a 50.09, which cleared Ian Thorpe’s 1998 Record of 50.21. Though Thorpe was always more of a middle-to-distance swimmer, that 1998 season from him was arguably the most impressive we’ve ever seen, anywhere in the world, by a 15-year old male swimmer.

What’s really astonishing then is that Chalmers was also faster than the 16-year olds record of 49.70 held by Cameron McEvoy at 49.70, done in 2011. McEvoy’s records are the ones that Chalmers will be chasing for the rest of  his year’s as a junior, although swims can’t ‘age up’; in other words, Chalmers can’t break the 16-year olds record as a 15-year old.

After a morning swim where he was already showing great back-half speed, Chalmers did it even better in finals.

PRELIMS: 24.10-25.99 = 50.09
FINALS: 24.09-25.59 = 49.68

Chalmers’ somewhat public debate in the Australian media has been whether to stick with swimming or to focus on Australian Rules Football. While he’s clearly talented in the former, he’s also a rising star in the latter, which is a sport where his father, Brett, made a living for 6 years.

A taste of international swimming, however, might well sway his decisions. So far, Chalmers is in a good position for both the Youth Olympics and Jr. Pan Pacs teams, as his is the fastest by an eligible swimmer (born in 1996-1999) from either this meet or the Australian Championships two weeks ago.

The boys’ 17-18 freestyle on Saturday is the only event remaining that could trip up the young Chalmers from being the top choice in the 100 free, and even there the top-seeded Regan Leong is a few months too old for consideration for the YOG’s.

Australia is only considering selection this year for the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China in the 100 meter races, so even though they only get 8 total spots, the top swimmer in each event is a good bet for the meet.

The Junior World Record is still ‘on the books’ at a 48.97 belonging to American Caeleb Dressel, but Chalmers has several years left to break that swim.

A full recap of day 2’s finals will follow.
Full live meet results available here.

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Steve Nolan
6 years ago

So is he not a full-time swimmer then? Because if so, awesome.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 years ago

I remember there was an article in his local paper before last nationals that said he’d picked up his training to “up to five times a week” in preparation XD

6 years ago

If he wants to do both, he could decide to focus on swimming for the next 6 years and still cross train to not lose touch with the AF. Two Olympic in that time span and opportunities to be very successful.

Besides, he would have plenty of time and body left to do this after swimming, but the likelihood of swimming after something like this I would imagine is not as good.

Reply to  coacherik
6 years ago

Totally agree with all your points.
Playing footy is a lot more prone to terrible injuries than swimming. I think your advice is the best way to go for Chalmers.
Aussie rules stars can still play until well into the thirties, so Chalmers would be better served training full time as a swimmer, go to Rio and Tokyo, and then start his aussie rules career if he still wants to, at the age of 22 or so.. still very young.

6 years ago

Probably not as straight forward as delaying for a few years. Not an expert on this but The AFL clubs will start recruiting around 17 yrs of age. They will want to know he is committed before then. There is also a father son rule which should mean he will get recruited by his fathers club assuming he is half decent which must be the case otherwise no choice. So basically he can try to make it in a sport with a roster of 30 plus across more than a dozen clubs in a team environment or swimming where you have to be top 2 on a given day. He would also need to be Thorpe quality to bring in… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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