SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers if Kyle Chalmers will beat his season-best at this week’s Australian World Champs Trials:
Question: Will Kyle Chalmers beat his season-best 47.48 in the 100 free at Australian Trials?
- Yes – 50.1%
- No – 49.9%
A very narrow majority predicted Australian Kyle Chalmers to better his 47.48 season best in the 100 free this week in one of the closest poll results we’ve ever had.
We got more than 600 votes on the poll since last week, and the final margin came down to just a single vote – that’s right, every person who voted in our poll could have potentially flipped the outcome.
Chalmers hit that 47.48 at Australia’s National Championships in April, not to be confused with its World Championships selection meet happening this week. The time was better than Chalmers’ gold-medal-winning swim from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Chalmers later suggested he was trying to train through that meet, leading to much discussion about just how prepared Chalmers was for that swim.
While Chalmers would be far from the first swimmer to downplay how much rest/preparation he had for a big swim (he didn’t mention doing weights the morning of the meet, nor how many yards he was training, so we don’t get a “Was Swimmer Tapered – BINGO” win, but we do get to check off “he had a beard!” and “he did a long warmup!” on our BINGO cards), the setup of Australia’s selection meet doesn’t give him a lot of incentive to rest much for the April meet. Then again, as much as the “rested/not rested” debate has remained central in swimming fandom, we’re also learning more and more about how athletes can time training cycles to come up with good in-season performances without necessarily taking a full rest or shave.
Things definitely aren’t as black and white as “completely rested” and “doing 15K plus weight the morning of the meet.” And this week, we should get a glimpse of exactly where in the middle of that specturm Chalmers was in April. Then again, maybe we won’t. Chalmers is so far ahead of the rest of his country right now (the second-fastest Australian this year has been Ashton Brinkworth at 49.00, and the closest to him last year were Jack Cartwright, who isn’t swimming this week, and Cameron McEvoy, who was 48.44). He could theoretically swim through this week as well and still make Australia’s Worlds team, saving his best stuff for later in the summer.
Maybe that was the plan all along. Maybe Chalmers geared up for April to hit a confidence-building time while still getting a three-month training block before Worlds. 49.9% of voters seemed in favor of that. Maybe we’re in store for something massive this week. 50.1% of voters appear on that train of thought. One thing is all-but-guaranteed, though: by this time next week, we’ll all be having another discussion about exactly how rested Chalmers was this time.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters a more philosophical question that we wrestle with every spring when we rank out the top NCAA recruits:
ABOUT A3 PERFORMANCE
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner