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Australian superstar swimmer Kyle Chalmers is reconsidering his plans for this summer’s World Championship meet.
Chalmers told SwimSwam in an interview in March that he would “most likely” miss the 2022 World Championships to focus on the Commonwealth Games, along with many of his highest-profile Australian countrymates.
After finishing 2nd on Wednesday in the 100 fly in a time of 51.67, however, he told SwimSwam that he was reconsidering those plans.
“I’ve been back in the pool 7 weeks now, I had no expectations on making the Worlds team, especially in butterfly,” Chalmers said. “So am now weighing up what’s going to be best for me and my preparations for Paris. (My) shoulders are feeling good, mind is feeling good, so wouldn’t mind being a part of the team.”
That time by Chalmers is the second-best of his career and only the second time that he has been under 52 seconds. His best time is a 51.37 from March of 2020, just before the world shut down with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chalmers told Australian media earlier this week that he was dropping the 200 free from his program “altogether” to shift to the 100 fly as a third event, alongside his primary races the 50 and 100 freestyles.
He said at the time that he didn’t expect much at Trials, with his primary goal being a top 3 finish in the butterfly races to qualify for the Commonwealth Games. Countries are allowed to enter 2 swimmers per event at the World Championships, but can send 3 per event to the Commonwealth Games.
He got that and more, finishing behind the incumbent in the event and Marion training partner Matthew Temple (51.50) and ahead of swimmer-turned-popstar-turned-swimmer Cody Simpson (51.96).
Simpson’s finishing place set local media aflutter at the possibility of such a high-profile personality qualifying for the World Championships. Even if Chalmers decides to go to Budapest next month, Simpson’s 3rd-place finish still gives him a spot on the Commonwealth Games team.
The 23-year old Chalmers won the 2016 Olympic gold medal in the 100 free at just 18-years old. He has 5 other Olympic medals as well (1 silver, 4 bronze).
Chalmers has had a number of health issues in his career, including a pair of surgeries, one on each shoulder, in the last two years.
Chalmers is already pre-selected to the Australian roster for the Commonwealth Games in the 50 and 100 freestyles by virtue of his performances at the Olympic Games. Australia did not award preselection for the World Championships this year. Chalmers is only entered in the 50 and 100 fly for this week’s Australian Championships, which means he is not eligible to swim the individual 50 or 100 free at the World Championships if he does decide to go, in spite of his silver medal in the 100 from Tokyo.