18-year-old Kyle Chalmers just beat all the favourites to win gold for Australia in the men’s 100m freestyle. Australia’s best hope before the race, Cam McEvoy, finished a surprising seventh.
Chalmers was seventh on the turn but swam an incredible final leg. He has only just turned 18, and is the son of Port Adelaide and Adelaide AFL player Brett Chalmers.
You bloody legend Kyle Chalmers, well done mate.
— Travis Boak (@travisboak10) August 11, 2016
“It’s unbelievable, I mean I’m only 18,” he said after the race. “I knew I had to stick to my guns. They were out pretty fast and probably a body length in front of me at the turn, but once I hit the turn I had to build.
“I’m very happy.”
Kyle Chalmers. What.
— Mack Horton (@_mackhorton) August 11, 2016
And do you think his Immanuel College schoolmates back home in Adelaide were happy?
PANDEMONIUM!!! GOLD FOR CHALMERS pic.twitter.com/YaXWr67Sk9
— Tim Morgan (@Timmy_morgs) August 11, 2016
It’s the first gold medal for the Aussie men in that event since Mike Wenden 1968. And it delivered another first for Chalmers.
“It’s definitely starting to feel a bit more real, but it’s still surreal too,” he said after stepping off the podium.
“I’ve never seen Dad cry before, but I witnessed that tonight, so that’s new.”
It was a great one-two for the Aussie after Madeline Groves stormed home in the women’s 200m butterfly.
But she missed out by .003 of a second, unable to pull back Spain’s Mireia Belmonte. It was her first Olympics, and Groves swam a personal best to clinch the silver.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” she said after the race.
“It was such an incredible experience. “I did awesome, I left everything in the pool.”
In the 100m women’s freestyle, Australia will be hoping for a one-two on the podium – from the same family.
In the first semi-final, Bronte Campbell was just shaded on the line by the USA’s Simone Manuel, finishing about .75 secs outside of her best time.
But her sister Cate, the current world record holder, cruised home for a win in the second semi and broke the Olympic record in the process.
The final will be held tomorrow at 12.18pm.
Another Aussie world champion, Mitch Larkin, also made his case for gold in the men’s 200m backstroke semi with a comfortable second, while Taylor McKeon touched first in her semifinal in the women’s 200m breaststroke.
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