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Defending Olympic champion Chalmers qualifies for 100m freestyle

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-16 09:30
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CANBERRA -- Reigning Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers will defend his title in Tokyo after logging the fastest qualifying time at the Australian swimming trials on Tuesday evening.

Chalmers booked his spot in the Australian Olympic team with a 47.59-second swim in Adelaide.

According to local media, it was the fourth-fastest 100m freestyle result in the world in 2021 and was only 0.01 second slower than the 47.58 he swam to claim gold in the Rio Olympics as an 18-year-old.

"Very happy with that one," Chalmers said after the race. "Five weeks to train hard and keep that (gold medal) goal in the back of my mind."

Matt Temple finished second in a qualifying time of 48.32 while veteran and Australian record holder Cameron McEvoy finished third.

Earlier on Tuesday night, 22-year-old Zac Stubblety-Cook swam the second-fastest 200m breaststroke in history.

Stubblety-Cook established himself as a serious medal contender in Tokyo with a Commonwealth record 2:06.28 - only 0.16 seconds away from the world record set by Russia's Anton Chupkov in 2019.

In the biggest shock of the night, former world record holder Matt Wilson missed out on qualifying in the event after setting a time 0.24 seconds outside of the entry standard.

"It's heartbreaking to see that, he worked so hard in and out of the pool and to see that, come so close, it's pretty tough," Stubblety-Cook said of Wilson.

He was joined in setting an Australian record by Madeleine Gough in the 1500m freestyle.

Gough beat the existing record by more than six seconds with a 15:46.13, to qualify with Kiah Melverton. 

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