Kyle Chalmers on his way to breaking his personal best for the 100m freestyle.
Kyle Chalmers on his way to breaking his personal best for the 100m freestyle.

Kyle lands 100m free PB: ‘There’s more improvement’

Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers has sent a message to the world just over 12 months from the Tokyo Games with a 100m freestyle PB which eclipsed his gold medal winning time in Rio by 0.10 of a second.

The 20-year-old smashed the 100m freestyle field in the final at the national championships by winning in 47.48sec from Cameron McEvoy in 49.07 and Clyde Lewis in 49.29.

It came 24 hours after he won the 100m butterfly on the opening night of the championships and after he started the day feeling the pinch of a heavy training program which isn't geared towards peaking until the world championships in South Korea in July.

"I wasn't expecting that at all, I felt lethargic and heavy in the water this morning which is pretty normal with no taper and trying to back up from last night so I did everything I could to get myself swimming fast," Chalmers said.

"I got a massage and gave myself plenty of time to stretch and recover and did a 2.5km warm up which is a very extended warm up for me, we're trying to train through this meet.

"So to go that fast I really wanted to do a 47, I've never been 47 in my home pool so we've ticked that box and it's exciting."

 

Kyle Chalmers was determined to deliver in his own backyard in Adelaide.
Kyle Chalmers was determined to deliver in his own backyard in Adelaide.

 

Chalmers led at the turn and said he felt strong throughout the entire race, and in an ominous warning to his rivals, says there is plenty of incremental improvements still to come.

"Some of my skills are probably not world class yet and I know if I can drop those 0.1 of a second then everything adds up. That time is a great time, obviously my fastest I've ever done and it's competitive in the world," he said.

"I have a skill acquisition (coach) who works with me on a daily basis so we'll review tonight, work out where the areas are that I need to improve on.

"I know my turn this morning was 0.04 of a second slower than what Cam (McEvoy) went when he went 47.0 so I know that my skills are coming, but it's just about practising every time we do a turn in training.

"We do hundreds of them a day and you can practice bad skills pretty easily so it's your muscle memory coming into a race you don't want to be thinking about it too much you just want it to happen naturally."

 

Kyle Chalmers says he still believes there is room for serious improvement.
Kyle Chalmers says he still believes there is room for serious improvement.

 

Earlier, Matthew Wilson broke the Australian and Commonwealth record in the men's 200m breaststroke in 2min07.16sec - just a week after tearing his hamstring at training and having an enforced rest.

"When I turned around and saw 2:07.1 I had no idea I could do that, I was expecting a 2:08 mid because I did that a couple of weeks ago at states," said Wilson, 20 from NSW.

"But to pull out a 2:07.1 is just unbelievable … It just happened, I mean a week ago I had a grade one hammy tear so we didn't even know if I'd be swimming here.

"It's kind of like an accidental taper I guess because I've been doing not a lot of breaststroke, and a bit of easy freestyle, I definitely didn't target this meet to be dropping a time like that.

"I'm probably the first swimmer ever to blow a hamstring swimming, one of the afternoons it was tight and the next morning it was very hard to walk but we treated it very well and the result shows."

 

Kyle Chalmers ploughs through the water at the Australian Swimming Championships.
Kyle Chalmers ploughs through the water at the Australian Swimming Championships.

 

Emma McKeon won the women's 100m butterfly final for the fifth time at the national championships from Brianna Throssell and Holly Barratt in 56.85sec.

"I'm pretty happy, both of my 100s now (freestyle and butterfly) are exactly equal to what I did at Olympic trials, especially for the 100 free I haven't been 52 since then in the individual swim so I am pretty happy," McKeon said.

"I'm in heavy training which is surprising that I've got my 100 times down, I think it's all coming from my strength, I've done a lot of work in the gym over the last six months to a year so I feel like that's definitely helped me."

reece.homfray@news.com.au