Teen Kyle Chalmers Ends Australia’s 48-Year Gold-Medal Drought In 100 Freestyle

Kyle Chalmers by Patrick B. Kraemer

A mere 18-year-old, Kyle Chalmers defied youth to capture gold in the 100 freestyle, snapping a 48-year title drought in the event.

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A mere 18-year-old, Kyle Chalmers defied youth to capture gold in the 100 freestyle, snapping a 48-year title drought in the event.



What an amazing swim. All the focus was on McEvoy and Adrian. Great comeback by the Aussies on day 5. Fingers crossed for Cate tomorrow.


Actually this win by Chalmers may be a boon for C1. No longer will she have the added pressure of having to “rescue the meet” for the team who should be on an upward kick with 2 silvers and one gold on the night plus another fastest qualifier


I am feeling C2 will be out of medal. She hasn’t been swimming great in prelims-semis. Yes, she swam great in relay, 52.1, but so did Mcevoy with 47.00

I hope not. I really love the beautiful dynamics between the sisters when they both medaled. I hope C2 proves me wrong and show the world what a great racer she is, but Oleksiak has the strongest momentum and Sarah will be 52mid as well.


Kyle Chalmers, at 18 yo 1 month and 16 days, is the third youngest ever to win Olympics men’s 100 freestyle.

The youngest ever men’s 100m free Olympics champion is Yasuji Miyazaki at only 15 years and 9.5 months old!!
He was born on October 15, 1916, and won 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

Jörg Woithe was 17 yo and 4 months when winning the boycotted 1980 Moscow Olympics.


Tending to agree re C2. She’s not out of medal contention but I’m thinking her “ceiling” for this meet is around 52.9 and Oleksiak crashing the party below that mark seemingly deals her into bronze at best. Think SS is better placed than her to make the podium. That’s my head speaking; on a purely personal note I hope like hell she can do it.

Having said that, this is likely to be C1’s final shot at the Olympics whereas if she can remain free of significant health/injury issues; C2 can probably get through to Tokyo. The issue will be how competitive she can remain.


Timmers was lucky to draft off Santo for that 75. Conderelli was out fast and stuck to the lane line in Timmers’ side. Either way, it was a good strategy.

Australia has not performed as well as they were hyped to do. I think aswimfan published a list of all the past champs who had not got up to secure a place on the podium.

This Olympics has been about the dark horses thats for sure.

I think Cate Campbell burned the jets too early in the season. I dont think she will be much faster. Sure she swam a blistering 51.8 in the relay, but Cam swam 47.0 and ended up only swimming 48+.

I think the momentum is with Oleksiak. She is right next to C1 for the final, and i think she is going to swim her down.


Updated list of current world champion shut out of medals:

Emily Seebohm
Mitch Larkin
Ning Zetao
James Guy
Marco Koch
Camille Lacourt (50 back world champion and worlds silver in 100 back)
Laszlo Cseh
Kanako Watanabe (200m breast world champion, already out of final)

It’s quite a lot of world champions not medaling in their individual events.


The Olympics is so much about momentum and not much, if any, about past performances.


I agree about Timmers’ assessment but he only drafted for 50m. Santo Condorelli was swimming on lane line on the second 50, and Timmers was like Thank You for the ride, mate!


men’s 100 free starts at 1:09.30

Also take notice that Chalmers had a bit of glide at the finish. Could have taken 0.1 with a better finish.


In the comments section of this article:

I wrote that in every Olympics there’s a shocker (meaning someone who didn’t medal in world championships in previous year).
I thought it was going to be Gunes, but now we know it’s Chalmers.
In this article:
I wrote about Chalmers “I hope he’ll make the relay too, it will provide more incentive for him to keep his interest and focus on swimming.”


However, Chalmers’ title of youngster who win gold and shock the world is not yet safe.
Penny Oleksiak can still do it tomorrow.
(I hope not).


Why the assumption that McEvoy would have gained 2 seconds for Aus? Whatever ailment he had left him a second short of his trials time in the 100m; chances are he may not have improved the Aus. position at all so I think the coaches made the right decision that he would hopefully recover sufficiently for the 100m.


aswimfan, What do you reckon about Oleksiak? Gold? I agree with your whole momentum theory. You are spot on.

Tony McKinnon

A class performance from both Chalmers and McEvoy. Chalmers has only made swimming his priority about 18 months ago. Until then he was leaning more towards a career following in his fathers footsteps in Australian Rules football. Even last year he was still playing for his College’s ( Immanuel Lutheran College) 1st xiii against his coaching advice and knowledge I believe, even before the world’s in Kazan. I am sure there are no doubts which sport takes priority now.
I just get the feeling all is not right with McEvoy. He has too much class to actually admit to being off colour because he would see it as distracting from Kyle’s victory.
I mentioned it before but it is also mentioned in the article above. The decision not to swim Cameron in the 4×200 was ludicrous as was the decision not swim Maddie Groves in the 4×200 tonight. McEvoy would only needed to have swum a 1:46.8 – over a second below his best – to place Australia in the bronze medal position. A very baffling decision. In the case of Maddy Groves could you imagine the high she would have been on swimming the last leg of 4×200. She would not have matched the 1:53 plus from Ledecki but she certainly would have got closer than Australia did at the end and who knows with .89 lead over the US at the last change, the lead and her personal success earlier in the night might have been enough to carry her home to a totally unexpected victory.
Still don’t get the thinking of the Australian coaches they need to realise their swimmers are tougher than they think and they do have a responsibility to a nation that supports their endeavours to tune of millions of tax payers dollars.

Tony McKinnon

Aswimfan doubt right Bronte off just quite yet remember last year at Kazan she only swam 53.5 in the heats and finished second in her semi final on 53 flat – sounds a bit like Rio today I think. She also looked as though she was easing up a the end of semi tonight – as did Cate in her semi.
How great are Canadians going at this meet – great to seem finally emerge from 2 decades of below par performances. Shades of the 1980s in Rio.


Absolutely impressed with McEvoy. Humble in defeat. What an absolute gentleman. He takes away something just as worthy as a gold medal. Respect.



I admit that I’m scared Oleksiak will beat Cate.
Please no.
I really hope not.
I want to tell Oleksiak to go easy, she still has so many years left and Tokyo will be perfect for her, lol.
But I think Cate will get this. She was slowing down and easing up in the last 15m, but accelerate when she saw Oleksiak charging.

Re:Bronte, I hope so! She was also looking vulnerable in the relay prelims, and then went BOOM in the final. She is a fierce competitor even more than her sister and she’s definitely not going to let anyone beat her, not even her sister. We knew about this in Kazan. To beat Bronte, you have to swim 52low.

I think Oleksiak and Manuel have shown their cards. Bronte has not. Sarah also has not. Judging by her 100 fly and 200 free, Sarah is in 52mid form. She is very dangerous.


Yup, I have to really commend McEvoy for showing dignity, class and above all really good heart in handling the loss.
It must be really tough on him.


How does the saying go. “strike while the iron is hot” I believe. Look at Missy, 4 years ago we all thought she was onwards and upwards. This Olympics she has not made her mark and we are all devastated. I hope Penny can do something great. (underdog syndrome)


Oleksiak … she’s put herself right in the picture and she’s at an age & in that zone where “you know no fear”. This race is no longer the gimme most of us considered. Can she do it … very much so. C1 has to be favoured but she’s really going to have to dig deep.

ASF is right that Sjostrom hasn’t shown her cards. The 100fly & 200fr showed that she’s in good form and when she is, she’s normally very good across all her events. C2 has to be part of the equation but I’m not sure she’s got more than 52.8 in her atm.

Tony, how about considering this re the McEvoy/M4X200 situation. Three of those guys swam out of their skins; probably beyond themselves ….. why ?

Quite possibly because there was no pressure on them and minimal expectations and they went out with a “only way we’re going to be in the picture is Death or Glory” approach. Under pressure, they may have been a lot “tighter” and performed very differently. McEvoy also tends to crash & burn in this relay …. he’s just as likely to produce a 1.48 as a 1.46; that IS his record whether we like it or not.

Groves was a marginal call. I am NOT a member of the Leah Neale fan club …. in fact I would rather she was not on the team but you’re making some major assumptions on Groves capabilities.

Firstly she is NOT a freestyle specialist; her PB is 1.57.9. Yes, she may’ve been on a high from the 200fly but she would also have had the legacy of that 200fly in her body. Whilst I think she may’ve been a better choice than Neale (who did swim a near sec PB in the heats); she would not have bridged that 1.8sec gap ….. maybe 0.8sec of it

Blah Blah

We didn’t all think Missy was on the up and up in 2012.. I thought she made an extremely bone-headed decision not to go pro then. There’s no waiting in swimming ESPECIALLY not women’s swimming.. look at Ruta also.

Tony McKinnon

CW some reasonable points but don’t forget Groves finished 3rd in the Australian championships so she is the 3rd best 200 free swimmer in the nation. She may not have won it but she certainly would have improved the over all time. Yes the lactic acid residue may have played apart but plenty of swimmers back up without any negative impact on their time. On the other hand she improved her Fly time by over half a second so perhaps it is reasonable to extrapolate that her 200 free might improve by the same margin.
Don’t forget she was selected as a member of a 4×2 squad.


Tony, yes she was 3rd at Trials but it wasnt as if it was a close race; it was McKeon then Barratt then daylight. Her time was 1.57.9.

It is very dangerous to extrapolate results from one event to another. Look at Groves herself in the 100fly. 57.0 at Trials but way north of 58 in the heats in Rio, didn’t even make the semis.

When it comes to multi-stroke swimmers, the likes of Sjostrom are actually pretty rare when it comes to being in PB shape in both strokes. Sometimes one will be firing, the other may be “off”. In most cases, its a case of when one is “on”, you hope the other is at least “good”.

No one can have perfect prescience; you, me or national coaches. I may have personally gone with Groves but Neale HAD made a convincing case for herself with a major PB in the morning.

Likewise, who would’ve predicted McKeonD to actually swim a belter in the 4×200 when his international record in this relay has been mediocre to say the least ….. very few outside of maybe his family and coach I would suggest ! Put him under pressure ….. and would we have had the same result ….. hhmm, not one you can automatically answer in the affirmative ?

John Lohn

Agreed on McEvoy and his class. Craig mentioned it last night as it unfolded. He could have been devastated, but instead showed great character. Much respect deserved.


Showing class in defeat can be a major test but McEvoy certainly showed remarkable grace. No excuses but honesty. Most of us would’ve been sorely tempted to tell the media “which bus to catch and where to get off” or just walk straight past.

What the future may hold for him is unknown; if he DOES choose to continue then one hopes he is granted another shot and one that goes much smoother. Alas, fate is much less a sentimentalist than we could wish …. but we can hope.


Great humility by Mcevoy and also by Chalmers who was so considerate towards his team mate. Very admirable.

Andrew Czyzewski

Firstly, congrats to Chalmers. Tore through a field of the fastest, strongest swimmers on the planet in that second half.

Agree with comments on McEvoy. Real class, but I didn’t expect anything less.

The biggest tragedy, in a way, is that unlike Magnussen, he has no major LC title to fall back on. Having being robbed by a cheater at Kazan.


We Aussies can celebrate Chalmers amazing 100m blue ribband triumph. We also have to ask a most perplexing question. What has happened to Cameron McEvoy? The Professor is way off his world champion pace here in Rio. He says he is physically ok. So what is the problem?


Craig Lord. I have repeatedly asked for my username to be changed to INTHEFASTLANE… no CV at end. You people made the mistake so PLEASE change.


So Craig do you refer to him as King Kyle or is it still Prince Chalmers? What a meteoric rise by the teenager. I honestly doubted that he could win this much coveted blue ribband event at such a young age.



I think Craig has replied to your request that he will do it, but not now. I guess he is still very busy in Rio.


Must have missed reply. I understand he is busy. Thanks.


@aswimfan. What is your take on McEvoys astounding lack of form?



As Jacco Verhaeren has mentioned: stage fright.

Never thought McEvoy is the kind to get stage fright. Never thought Cate Campbell is the kind to get stage fright.

The problem must be deeper and more structural than that.

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