Eighteen-year-old Aussie swimmer Kyle Chalmers has won the men’s 100m freestyle final.
Chalmers played a safe first 50m, turning second last at the wall before dominating the last quarter of the race and seizing gold in a time of 47.58. He’s Australia’s youngest male gold medallist since Ian Thorpe back in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics. When he’s not setting the world alight he’s a year 12 student at Adelaide’s Immanuel College.
He finished 22 hundredths of a second ahead of Belgium’s Pieter Timmers and American defending champion Nathan Adrian who grabbed the bronze.
His was the third gold medal for Australia in the pool after Mack Horton in the men’s 400m freestyle and the women’s 4x100m relay on the first night of the Games.
Cameron McEvoy came seventh in a time of 48.12, more than a second outside his time at the Olympic trials which made him the favourite to win the event.
Adding two more silvers to the medal tally for Australia were 21-year-old Madeline Groves in the 200m butterfly and the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team.
Groves, making her Olympic debut, led the swim until Spanish swimmer Mireia Belmonte passed her on the final lap.
Emma McKeon, Bronte Barratt, Tamsin Cook and Leah Neale made up the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay. Queensland swimmer Leah Neale kicked off the race for Australia giving a clean changeover to McKeon who steadily moved through the field putting the team in the lead. Third swimmer Bronte Barratt maintained the lead for her leg of the race before 17-year-old Tamsin Cook took over to go head-to-head with US anchor Katie Ledecky.
Ledecky grabbed the gold giving the US team a time of 7.43.03 with Cook touching the wall to give Australia the silver at 7.44.87.
Other performances of the night saw Mitchell Larkin qualify for the 200m backstroke final with the second fastest time and 21-year-old Taylor McKeown grab lane four in the final for the women’s 200m breastroke.
Cate Campbell and Bronte Campbell have both made the final for the women’s 100m freestyle with Cate breaking the Olympic record a second time since the heats in a time of 52.71. – Jessica Best.
Photo of Kyle Chalmers celebrating his win from the Australian Dolphins’ Swim Team’s Facebook page.