SwimmingFukuoka Freestyle Focus For Kyle Chalmers and Mollie O’Callaghan Who Drop Form...

Fukuoka Freestyle Focus For Kyle Chalmers and Mollie O’Callaghan Who Drop Form Strokes From World Champs Program

Fukuoka Freestyle Focus For Kyle Chalmers and Mollie O’Callaghan Who Drop Form Strokes From World Champs Program

Australian freestyle sprinters Kyle Chalmers and Mollie O’Callaghan will be aiming to join Dolphins greats James Magnussen and Cate Campbell when the World Aquatics pool events kick off in Fukuoka (JPN) next Sunday.

The pair have both withdrawn from respective butterfly and backstroke events to concentrate on their blue ribband 100m freestyle events.

WALKING TALL: Mollie O’Callaghan walking the walk with her injury knee strapped at the Dolphins Training Camp in Saga. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Chalmers now won’t swim the 100m butterfly, replaced by Shaun Champion, while O’Callaghan has relinquished her 100m backstroke spot to 2015 silver medallist Madi Wilson, who turns the clock back with her only individual race.

Both Chalmers, second to US great Caeleb Dressel in the 100m freestyle at the 2019 Championships in Gwangju and defending champion O’Callaghan are among the favourites for their respective 100m freestyle events – a double that has only been achieved once by Australian swimmers in 2013 in Barcelona by Magnussen and Cate Campbell.

Magnussen went back-to-back in the 100m freestyle in 2011 and 2013 while Jodie Henry (2005), Libby Trickett (2007), Cate Campbell (2013), her sister Bronte Campbell (2015) and O’Callaghan (2022) have all greeted the judge in the women’s event.

Chalmers, although keen to emulate the feats of Dressel in both freestyle and butterfly, is yet to successfully combine the two internationally – something he was keen to achieve in the lead up to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The 26-year-old South Australian will now put all his individual eggs into the 100m freestyle basket while O’Callaghan, who threw a scare into the Dolphins camp a fortnight ago when she dislocated her knee has been cleared to swim the 100 and 200m freestyle and the 50m backstroke, as well as the relays.

Chalmers won the 100m freestyle at the Australian Trials and had also qualified for the 100m butterfly finishing second behind Marion, SA teammate and Australian record holder Matt Temple. Champion (Abbotsleigh Swim Club, NSW) finished third at the Trials.

News Limited reported today that Chalmers had said at the time of the Trials he was committed to swimming the butterfly – confirming the schedule for the world titles perfectly fitted in with his program – but he has had a change of heart and pulled out.

“Chalmers already has a busy program in Fukuoka, with the individual 100m freestyle and up to five relays, so wants to focus on helping the team where he’s most needed,” wrote News Limited swimming reporter Julien Linden.

“While Champion had already been given a place on the Australian team after finishing second in the 50m butterfly and third in the 100m.”

Here is a full list of the Australian entries:

50m freestyle: Shayna Jack, Emma McKeon
100m freestyle: Mollie O’Callaghan, Emma McKeon
200m freestyle: Mollie O’Callaghan, Ariarne Titmus
400m freestyle: Ariarne Titmus, Lani Pallister
800m freestyle: Ariarne Titmus, Lani Pallister
1500m freestyle: Lani Pallister, Moesha Johnson
50m backstroke: Kaylee McKeown, Mollie O’Callaghan
100m backstroke: Kaylee McKeown, Madi Wilson
200m backstroke: Kaylee McKeown, Jenna Forrester
50m breaststroke: Abbey Harkin
100m breaststroke: Abbey Harkin
200m breaststroke: Abbey Harkin
50m butterfly: Brianna Throssell
100m butterfly: Emma McKeon, Brianna Throssell
200m butterfly: Lizzie Dekkers, Abbey Connor
200m individual medley: Kaylee McKeown, Jenna Forrester
400m individual medley: Jenna Forrester, Kiah Melverton
Relays only: Meg Harris


50m freestyle: Cam McEvoy, Isaac Cooper
100m freestyle: Kyle Chalmers, Flynn Southam
200m freestyle: Kai Taylor, Alex Graham
400m freestyle: Sam Short, Elijah Winnington
800m freestyle :Sam Short, Elijah Winnington
1500m freestyle: Sam Short
50m backstroke: Isaac Cooper, Brad Woodward
100m backstroke: Isaac Cooper, Brad Woodward
200m backstroke: Brad Woodward
50m breaststroke: Sam Williamson
100m breaststroke: Zac Stubblety-Cook
200m breaststroke: Zac Stubblety-Cook
50m butterfly: Cam McEvoy, Shaun Champion
100m butterfly: Matt Temple, Shaun Champion
200m butterfly: Matt Temple
200m individual medley: Tommy Neill, Brendon Smith
400m individual medley:  Tommy Neill, Brendon Smith
Relays only:  Jack Cartwright

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