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.