Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers won his signature race at the Commonwealth Games, then celebrated with a shhh two days after saying recent “false headlines” about his relationship with Australian teammates threatened his swimming future.
Chalmers won Monday’s 100 freestyle in 47.51 seconds, a day after posting a Commonwealth Games record 47.36 in the semifinals in Birmingham, Britain. He ranks second in the world this year behind the 17-year-old Romanian David Popoviciwho swam 47.13 at the world championships in June.
“It’s special to win, but unfortunately I think it’s hard to enjoy the moment when everything that happened has happened,” Chalmers said on Seven Network in Australia. “It makes for a very, very difficult time. I’m grateful I was able to block it out enough to get up and win tonight, but I just hope it’s a learning point for everyone where no one else has to go through what I I had to go through the last two days.
“There were times when I thought I wouldn’t go on and race, but that just lets the media win, right?”
Chalmers, who has won gold and silver in the 100m freestyle at the last two Olympics, was referring to headlines and media questions about her at the Commonwealth Games about other Australian swimmers. Emma McKeonhis former girlfriend, and cody simpsonwho is now dating McKeon.
Earlier, Chalmers shared a Sydney Morning Herald article which reported that other media outlets accused Chalmers of failing to congratulate McKeon after he was part of the winning team in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay on Friday.
“Did you watch the whole race?” Chalmers said, according to the newspaper. “I said congratulations and we [McKeon] stood here right next to you guys and spoke last night. I really find it hard to believe that I didn’t say my congratulations after the race.
McKeon said Chalmers shook his hand, according to the Heraldsaying, “He made [congratulate me]. We are always a good team and mixed relays are always fun.
Chalmers said the headlines dated back to the Australian trials in May. In the 100 butterfly at that meet, Chalmers took second and Simpson third. Chalmers said before the competition that he planned to skip the world championships, which would have meant Simpson was promoted to the second and final world championship team in the event.
Then, during the meet (and before the 100m butterfly final), Chalmers said he hadn’t made up his mind. After the 100m butterfly final, he decided to take the place, which meant Simpson, a pop star who returned to swimming in 2020 after a ten-year hiatus, would not make the world team ( but would do Commonwealths, where a nation can enter three swimmers per individual event).
“I ask you please stop writing these fake headlines or else my time in sports will be over,” Chalmers shared on social media Saturday. “This could end my time in swimming, I hope you are all aware of that. My mental health right now, after all this over the months, is at an all time low, I really hope this pleases the Warriors keyboard who continue to write fake news. Thank you again for the people who love me, care for me and support me. You have been there for me every day throughout this journey…and without you, I wouldn’t have been here running. I would have been retired, but you motivated, inspired and helped me through this battle. For that, I’m forever grateful.
In May, Simpson said he and Chalmers “cleared the air” after Chalmers’ decision to take the place and that “everything was fine”.
“He changed his mind, which he has every right to do,” Simpson said then on Amazon Prime. “I respect his decision anyway.”
Chalmers told Commonwealths he said “good luck” to Simpson and messaged him after the race, according to the Herald.
“I don’t do anything but be positive,” Chalmers said, according to the report. “I try to support him on the team, but again people just want clickbait.”
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