William Yang Makes First Olympic Roster Only 1 Year After Back Surgery To Remove Benign Tumor



  • World Record – 46.80, Pan Zhanle (CHN), 2024
  • Australian Record – 47.04, Cameron McEvoy, 2016
  • Oceanic Record – 47.04, Cameron McEvoy, 2016
  • Commonwealth Record – 47.04, Cameron McEvoy, 2016
  • All Comers Record – 47.04, Cameron McEvoy, 2016
  • Swim Australia OQT – 48.06

GOLD – Kyle Chalmers, 47.75 *OLY Qualifier
SILVER – William Yang, 48.08
BRONZE – Flynn Southam, 48.11

William Yang qualified for his first Olympic Games swimming to a 48.08 in the 100 freestyle, earning him a relay swim for the Australian 4×100 freestyle relay. Just over a year ago, Yang had back surgery to remove a benign tumor.

Last May, Yang announced he had been battling a benign tumor in his spinal canal, affecting his ability to sleep, walk, cough, and other daily activities. In addition, his training was affected. With surgery at the beginning of June 2023, Yang was unable to swim at the 2023 Australian Trials, therefore not swimming at the 2023 World Championships.

Prior to last summer, Yang had represented Australia at the 2022 World Championships as well as the Commonwealth Games. Yang swam the individual 100 freestyle at 2022 World. He also swam on the men’s 4×100 free relay in both prelims and finals winning silver and the mixed 4×100 free relay in prelims that went on to win silver.

At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, he swam to two relay gold medals as well as a 5th place finish in the individual men’s 100 free.

Yang was originally set to return to competition in December 2023 at the Queensland Championships but did not show for the meet. Instead, he made his return in March of this year swimming to golds in the 100 free (48.48) and 100 back (54.88) at the NSW State Championships.

Yang’s time from today also marked a personal best as his previous best time stood at a 48.20 from April of this year. Yang just missed the individual Swim Australia Olympic Qualifying Time that stands at a 48.06.

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Talkin’ Bobby
1 month ago

What a swim, only man to PB in that Final. What a journey and well deserved Olympian is Will Yang.
He should lead off this relay in finals come Paris

Stephen J Thomas
1 month ago

Well done William, he has kept improving since his recovery. He is on the team so no reason why he won’t swim the individual race and at least a couple of relays

1 month ago

Are they actually putting him on the roster? It would be a mistake to hold to these dumb standards when you have a swimmer go basically the same time.

Reply to  ADB
1 month ago

They’re going to take top 4 minimum for 4X100 so yes, he’s going to be on the team. His time is within WA A so it’s very likely he’ll get the individual start.

Aussie Richie
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

Individual Swim Australia Olympic Qualifying Times are brutal. Most even under the official FINA times.

Aussie Richie
Reply to  Aussie Richie
1 month ago

Flynn Southam should also be in the 100free relay. Will be another strong Aussie team.

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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