Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) – Australia’s Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers can expect some more sleepless nights after he closed in on his third swimming gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
Chalmers laid down an early marker with the fastest heat time of 48.81 seconds in the 100 metres freestyle to book lane four in his evening semi-final.
The 19-year-old flyer already has gold medals in the 200m free and the 4x100m freestyle relays on the Gold Coast and is on track for another one.
“It’s all about just getting through the rounds really. All I had to do this morning was make it through to the semi-finals,” Chalmers said.
“It’s always hard backing up after such an amazing night,” he added.
“Obviously winning a couple of gold medals was awesome. It’s always hard trying to get that sleep after being on such a high but I’m happy with where I’m at.”
Chalmers, who shocked the swimming world when he landed gold at the Rio Olympics two years ago, is taking nothing for granted in a quality 100m free event.
“It is a very exciting field. The best part of it is having three Aussies straight through to the semi-finals,” he said, referring to Cameron McEvoy and Jack Cartwright.
“You’ve got (Scotland’s) Duncan Scott in there who’s made the final in Rio and (South African) Chad le Clos is another one who’s just a superstar if the sport.”
Australia’s sprint queen Cate Campbell is also flying on adrenaline as she chases more Games gold.
It’s been a barnstorming meet so far for Campbell, anchoring her team to a world record in the 4x100m freestyle relay and backing up with a Games record in the 50m freestyle semi-finals.
– Sleep can wait –
Campbell was second-fastest behind team-mate Madeline Groves in Saturday’s 50m butterfly heats in her packed swimming programme.
“Sleep can happen next week. Right now I’m just focusing on not stressing too much if I’m not getting enough sleep or I’m not getting enough recovery because in the end it doesn’t matter when you stand behind the blocks,” Campbell told AFP.
South Africa’s le Clos, meanwhile, is optimistic of his chances of a hat-trick of Commonwealth Games golds in the 200m butterfly final.
The four-time butterfly world champion won the 50m fly on Friday, but his bid to win five more medals and become the all-time leading Games medallist fizzled out when he missed the podium in the 200m freestyle and the 4x100m free.
Le Clos, who famously toppled American Olympic legend Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly at the 2012 London Olympics, eased into Saturday’s final with the fourth-fastest time behind Canadian Mackenzie Darragh in the morning heats.
“Tonight’s going to be tough,” he said. “It’s always going to be a tough race, the 200 fly. It’s never an easy event physically.”
Le Clos was also seventh fastest into the 100m freestyle semis behind Chalmers.
“I always think I can medal — even when I don’t have a chance,” le Clos told AFP. “But this time I think they will feel me — it will be a tough night for them.”