Australia’s Kyle Chalmers claims 100m freestyle world title

Kyle Chalmers celebrates his gold medal in the 100m freestyle at the world championships.

Kyle Chalmers celebrates his gold medal in the 100m freestyle at the world championships. Photo: EPA

Australia’s Kyle Chalmers has completed his gold medal collection with a long-coveted 100 metres freestyle victory at the world championships.

And Kaylee McKeown has snared another gold as Australia’s gap widens at the top of the medal table in Japan.

Australian swimmers have captured eight gold medals in Fukuoka, four clear of next-best China.

Chalmers produced a trademark last-lap surge to win Thursday night’s final – turning in seventh spot, he powered to the finish, winning in 47.15 seconds from American Jack Alexy (47.31).

The 25-year-old was desperate to complete his collection which includes Olympic, Commonwealth Games and world short-course gold in the event.

“It’s very special. It’s one I’ve been wanting for quite some time,” Chalmers said.

“I’ve never felt better in a race.

“There was a lot of pressure and expectation coming in, but I’ve never felt calmer.

“That was the last medal to complete the set in my swimming career too. It feels great to do that against such a stacked field.”

McKeown set an Australian record in winning the women’s 50m backstroke, adding to her earlier 100 metres backstroke title.

She clocked 27.08 seconds, inside her previous benchmark of 27.16 set in 2021, to pip American rival Regan Smith (27.11).

Australia’s Liz Dekkers also boosted Australia’s tally with silver in the women’s 200 metres butterfly.

Dekkers touched in 2:05.46 with Canadian 16-year-old Summer McIntosh taking the gold medal in a junior world record time of 2:04.06.

“I really wanted to medal and I’m very happy that I could do it,” 19-year-old Dekkers said.

“It’s a pretty incredible field, so really happy.”

In the women’s 100 metres freestyle semi-finals, Australia’s reigning world champion Mollie O’Callaghan and Emma McKeon both advanced to Thursday night’s final.

O’Callaghan, a night after setting a 200 metres freestyle world record, won her semi in 52.86 – turning in fifth spot but stormed to victory in the last lap.

In the same semi-final, McKeon finished third in 53.00.

O’Callaghan was second quickest in to the medal race behind the Netherlands’ Marrit Steenbergen (52.82) and McKeon was ranked fourth.

In the men’s 200 metres breaststroke semi-finals, Australia’s world record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook was fastest qualifier for Friday night’s medal race in a time of 2:07.27.


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