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Commonwealth Games: Johanna Griggs’ brutal verdict on Kyle Chalmers

Channel Seven sports presenter Johanna Griggs says Kyle Chalmers is his own worst enemy when it comes to negative press coverage after the talented swimmer lashed out at ‘fake news’ at a Commonwealth Games press conference on Saturday.

Chalmers, 24, furiously threatened to quit the sport after a journalist suggested there was a ‘love triangle’ between the ranks of the Australian swim team involving him, his ex-girlfriend Emma McKeon and her new partner Cody Simpson.

He had a brief relationship with McKeon, 28, last year before the couple split and McKeon moved on to Simpson, 25. The three swimmers are now competing in Birmingham.

Griggs, 48, a retired competitive swimmer and former tabloid member himself, said Chalmers was “feeding the media” and making the rumor feud a “bigger story” by reacting so angrily to questions about his private life.

She also noted that McKeon and Simpson were not distracted by the public interest in their love lives.

“The only person potentially going to derail – although it certainly didn’t look like it in his 100m freestyle this morning – could be Kyle himself, he seems to be feeding him,” Griggs said. Triple M Breakfast with MG, Jess & Pagey.

Channel Seven sports presenter Johanna Griggs (pictured) says Kyle Chalmers is his own worst enemy when it comes to negative press coverage after the talented swimmer lashed out at 'fake news' at a Commonwealth Games press conference on Saturday

Channel Seven sports presenter Johanna Griggs (pictured) says Kyle Chalmers is his own worst enemy when it comes to negative press coverage after the talented swimmer lashed out at ‘fake news’ at a Commonwealth Games press conference on Saturday

She continued: ‘It’s the irony of all these situations. You can’t expect the headlines to be great all the time.

“You have to accept that sometimes, sometimes, it’s about other people and sometimes you don’t show it in the same light.”

Griggs went on to say she hopes Chalmers will stop “feeding” the media cycle, as his public outbursts will only lead to more headlines.

“I kind of hope Kyle stops feeding him. I understand he feels incredibly overwhelmed right now and he can’t handle it,” she said.

“But every time he says it, he makes a bigger story out of it.”

Chalmers, 24, (pictured May 18) furiously threatened to quit the sport after a journalist suggested there was a 'love triangle' between the ranks of the Australian swim team involving him, his ex-girlfriend Emma McKeon and her new partner Cody Simpson. were involved.

Chalmers, 24, (pictured May 18) furiously threatened to quit the sport after a journalist suggested there was a ‘love triangle’ between the ranks of the Australian swim team involving him, his ex-girlfriend Emma McKeon and her new partner Cody Simpson. were involved.

Rumors of a split between Chalmers and Simpson dominated the back pages in the run-up to last month’s World Championship and have been the main topic of conversation about the Australian team’s success at the Commonwealth Games to date.

At a press conference in Birmingham after winning gold on Saturday, Chalmers threatened to quit swimming if ‘false news’ continued to circulate that he was in a feud with Simpson and former flame McKeon.

“It’s all just fake news that’s really just bullshit, it’s honestly just a bunch of shit that isn’t true,” he said.

He also denied rumors of a breakup with McKeon after their uneasy chemistry during Friday’s 4x100m freestyle mixed relay.

Australia was the only nation not to hold hands and lift them in unison for the race, while Chalmers was the only teammate who had not seen McKeon’s hand shake after their win.

He denied any suggestion that he was not congratulating his ex after the win.

After qualifying for the semi-finals of the men's 100m freestyle on Sunday night, Chalmers revealed how tough the past 24 hours had been from a psychological standpoint.

After qualifying for the semi-finals of the men’s 100m freestyle on Sunday night, Chalmers revealed how tough the past 24 hours had been from a psychological standpoint.

‘Did you watch the whole race? I said congratulations and we [McKeon] stood here next to you and spoke last night,’ he said.

“I find it really hard to believe I didn’t congratulate after the race. I actually walked up and said “well done” across the pool.

“We all said congratulations, we all did what we had to do and it’s an honor to be part of that team last night and win the first gold medal in the race at the Commonwealth Games and to do it with the most Australia’s most successful Olympian and now Australia’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete is special.”

Chalmers said he has a good relationship with Simpson and sent him a congratulations after the Australian men’s team won the 4x100m freestyle on Saturday.

“I said good luck to Cody, I said good luck to Cody, I messaged him after the race,” he said.

‘I do nothing but be as positive as possible. I support him on the team, but again, people just want clickbait on the article.

“It’s a shame I can’t do anything right at the moment.

“I think it’s great that he’s here… it’s great for our sport, it brings in new viewers. What he has achieved in two years of swimming is unbelievable.”

At the national trials in April, Chalmers announced that he would be taking up the 50m butterfly for the Commonwealth Games – the same event Simpson attempted to qualify for.

Chalmers dated McKeon for a short time last year before the couple broke up and McKeon moved on with Simpson.  The three swimmers are now competing in Birmingham.  (Pictured: McKeon and Simpson in Barcelona, ​​Spain, last month)

Chalmers dated McKeon for a short time last year before the couple broke up and McKeon moved on with Simpson. The three swimmers are now competing in Birmingham. (Pictured: McKeon and Simpson in Barcelona, ​​Spain, last month)

Some onlookers have felt that Chalmers may have been deliberately trying to destroy the dreams of Simpson, a successful pop star whose return to the pool after being a child prodigy in Queensland gave him a cause celeb.

After qualifying for the semi-finals of the men’s 100m freestyle on Sunday night, Chalmers revealed how tough the past 24 hours had been psychologically.

“It’s hard, it’s hard for me to get up and swim this morning,” he told Seven in an emotional interview.

“It’s probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. I think the media doesn’t realize, as I said on Instagram, how much impact [reporting] has on athletes and [their] mental health.

Rumors of a split between Chalmers and Simpson (right, with McKeon) dominated the back pages in the run-up to last month's World Championship and have been the main topic of conversation about the Australian team's success at the Commonwealth Games to date

Rumors of a split between Chalmers and Simpson (right, with McKeon) dominated the back pages in the run-up to last month’s World Championship and have been the main topic of conversation about the Australian team’s success at the Commonwealth Games to date

“It took all my courage and all my energy to get behind the blocks and swim this morning.

“It’s not something I wanted to do, it’s not something I wanted to go through, to be honest, I’ve been so excited for this moment for such a long time and worked hard to be here for such a long time .’

He reiterated that rumors of a frosty relationship between him and Simpson — and the media attention given to alleged friction in the swim team — had led him to consider quitting the sport.

“For how it has developed, yes, I am definitely doubting my future in the sport,” he added.

“I mean, I didn’t get into sports to deal with something like that. I’m standing there and probably being interviewed for 20 minutes and not one thing was said about how we broke the Commonwealth record and won the gold medal last night, not one thing about that.

“So for me it’s heartbreaking.

“I have no reason to even stop and talk to the media. I just do it to make people happy. Now it’s about expressing the truth and my real feelings, but yes, I do and will consider what is for me now.’

Chalmers also said the negative attention had taken its toll on his teammates and stolen the spotlight from their performance, accusing the media of “ruining it for all of us”.

After qualifying for the semi-finals of the men's 100m freestyle on Sunday night, Chalmers revealed how tough the past 24 hours had been from a psychological standpoint.

After qualifying for the semi-finals of the men’s 100m freestyle on Sunday night, Chalmers revealed how tough the past 24 hours had been from a psychological standpoint.

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