Reigning Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers cruises to victory in 100m freestyle ahead of a KEY day for Aussies in the pool
- Aussie Kyle Chalmers has qualified third for 100m semifinals
- Defending champion 100 meters returns from shoulder surgery last year
- Chalmers semi-final kicks off the big day in the pool for Australia on Wednesday
Kyle Chalmers’ quest to defend his Olympic 100m freestyle title gets off to a flying start in Tokyo.
The South Australian rode to victory in his heat on Tuesday night and qualified third for the semi-finals, just behind Italian aviator Thomas Ceccon and American powerhouse Caeleb Dressel.
A satisfied Chalmers hopes to secure a spot in the final in Wednesday’s first event of the programme.
“It’s a good boost for your confidence,” the 23-year-old told Channel Seven afterwards.
Kyle Chalmers (pictured) hopes to defend his Olympic crown in the 100m freestyle in Tokyo
“I had shoulder surgery seven months ago, so I’m still coming back a little bit and trying to get under 48 seconds. So to do that in the heat is very nice.’
“I felt really relaxed today. My job was to get through the semi-finals. I checked that box. It’s a good thing it’s on the schedule early tonight.’
Chalmers returns home with a guaranteed medal after his blistering anchor leg took bronze for Australia in the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay on Monday.
His semi-final on Wednesday will be the start of a big day in the pool for Australia.
Ariarne Titmus will resume her fierce rivalry with American legend Katie Ledecky in the 200m freestyle final.
She will be in lane four after fastest qualifying for the final, where the The 20-year-old hopes to ramp up her dominance against Ledecky after she stormed home Monday to steal gold in the 400m.
Fellow Aussie Madi Wilson will also fight for a spot on the podium in the same race.
Ariarne Titmus swims for the gold medal in the 200m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics after setting the fastest time in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Brianna Throssell will also be in action on Wednesday morning after she qualified ninth for the semifinals of the 200m butterfly.
In the men’s 800-meter freestyle, Jack McLoughlin – already with a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle – was sixth fastest in the final and finished third in his heat.
Zac Stubblety-Cook proved his medal prospects in the men’s 200m breaststroke with a striking dive in the heats.
Stubblety-Cook clocked 2:07.37 to dead-heat with Arno Kamminga from the Netherlands.
Stubblety-Cook, who entered Tokyo this year with the best time in the event, and Kamminga led the heats with Australia’s Matt Wilson in 10th and in the semi-finals.
Ariarne Titmus (pictured, right) is on track for another showdown with American star Kate Ledecky (left) in Tokyo. The pair are pictured after the 400m final which was stunningly won by the Aussie
Australians will also cheer on Maddy Gough and Kiah Melverton in the women’s 1500m freestyle final.
The Australian 4x200m freestyle relay team, comprising Alexander Graham, Mack Horton, Elijah Winnington and Zac Incerti, was second fastest in heats, with Great Britain almost two seconds ahead of the field.
The night program will feature Australian relay winners Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell in the women’s 100m freestyle.
Australia remains seventh on the medal table with three golds, one silver and five bronze.
All three gold medals were in the pool.
Australian swimmers in action on day six
Morning program (11.30-1.40 a.m.)
Men’s 100m Freestyle Semifinal – Kyle Chalmers
Women’s 200m Freestyle Final – Ariarne Titmus, Madi Wilson
Women’s 200m Butterfly Semifinal – Brianna Throssell
Men’s 200m Breaststroke Semifinal – Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matt Wilson
Women’s 1500m Freestyle Final – Maddy Gough, Kiah Melverton
Final Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay – Australia
Evening heats (20h-22h30)
Women’s 100m Freestyle – Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell
Men’s 200m Backstroke – Tristan Hollard
Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Jenna Strauch, Abbey Harkin
Men’s 200m medley – Mitch Larkin, Brendon Smith
Women’s 4x200m freestyle relay (Bronte Campbell, Mollie O’Callaghan, Madi Wilson, Leah Neale, Meg Harris)