Kyle Chalmers Races Into 2017 With Olympic Gold & The Order Of Australia In Tow

Kyle Chalmers - courtesy of Swimming Australia

Kyle Chalmers celebrates this Australia Day with a few new letters to his name: OAM, or the Order of Australia medal. The honour was bestowed on the teenager after a stellar 2016 in which he became the first Australian since Mike Wenden in 1968 to claim Olympic gold in the blue ribband 100m freestyle.

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It will be curious to see how the next few years pan out for Chalmers given that he has tasted the very pinnacle of individual success in his sport at what would, traditionally, be seen as the start of his senior international career.

Will he go on to be the pacesetter as regards times in his pet event or will he play out more as a racer ?

Signs we have seen so far are indicative that he may gravitate more to the 100/200 nexus rather than a 50/100. How will this play out and will we see him potentially evolve into a 200 contender OR will he, perhaps, investigate the 100fly (not a recent strength for AUS men) ?

With the likes of Magnussen, Roberts & Abood collecting their superannuation (or likely to do so over the next 18months) and McEvoy potentially reaching a career crossroads; its unlikely that the AUS M4X100 will contend for the top step of the podium over the next cycle unless we see at least 2 from the level below or another age superstar start putting down serious times. Likewise, the other AUS male relays are playing for minor coin at best so Chalmers best medal hopes are likely to be from individual endeavour.

Sporting careers rarely play out in the linear pattern that are projected so who knows what will happen. Illness, injuries …. real life, for that matter, are imponderables so who knows what may happen. He’s already got that Olympic gold, might he decide at some time over the next few years that he’s already hit that career pinnacle and the desire to replicate just isnt there. He wouldn’t be the first … or the last.

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