Olympic champ Chalmers 'hungry for more' after Australian title

Australia's Kyle Chalmers plans to be defending his 100m freestyle title at the Tokyo Olympics
Australia's Kyle Chalmers plans to be defending his 100m freestyle title at the Tokyo Olympics François-Xavier MARIT AFP
Advertising

Sydney (AFP)

Defending Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers Friday said he was "hungry for more" after a dominating swim to clinch the Australian national title.

The 22-year-old, who is on the comeback from shoulder surgery, exploded from the blocks and comfortably led at the turn on the Gold Coast, finishing strongly in 48.04sec ahead of Jack Cartwright (48.81) and Louis Townsend (49.10).

"I've got to like the time, it's very close to 47. It would have been nice to go 47, but it will come," said Chalmers, who was pipped to the 2019 world title by American Caeleb Dressel in a jaw-dropping 46.96.

Dressel, who finished sixth at the Rio Olympics, has since claimed a host of world titles and is gearing up for a multi-event campaign at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games, including the 100m free.

"It definitely makes me happy, but I'm definitely hungry for more," added Chalmers, who won the 200m freestyle title on Thursday.

Australia holds its Olympic trials in June.

Emma McKeon, part of Australia's gold-medal winning 4x100m relay team in Rio, upset sprint star Cate Campbell to take out the women's 100m.

McKeon had been the fastest qualifier in the 200m freestyle but opted out of the final on Thursday -- won by Ariarne Titmus -- to save herself for the 100m and it paid off.

She was always a head in front and kicked hard in the final 15 metres to book the win in 52.49.

Commonwealth and Australian record-holder Campbell touched in 52.85, slower than her 52.43 heat time.

"It was a good chance to get a hit out doing finals in the morning and I'm really happy with that time," said McKeon, adding that she was able to finish strongly after working hard on her kick.

Elsewhere, the rapidly improving Chelsea Hodges won the 50m breaststroke in a highly competitive 30.20 to go with the 100m crown she claimed on Thursday, positioning her as an Olympic challenger to American star Lily King.

Matt Wilson, a former world record-holder in the 200m breaststroke, lifted the men's 50m title in 27.55.

Brianna Throssell, a finalist at the 2016 Rio Games, won the women's 200m butterfly in 2:07.20 with a dominant Bowen Gough (1:57.08) taking out the men's title.

Meanwhile, fast-rising star Kaylee McKeown backed up her win in the 50m backstroke by clinching the 100m in 58.60 ahead of Emily Seebohm, who is targeting a fourth Olympics.