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Olympic champ Chalmers laps up limelight after surgery

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Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers is enjoying having the spotlight on him heading into the national short course championships in Adelaide starting tomorrow.

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The 100m freestyle champion from the Rio Games will take to the pool in his first serious hit-out since heart surgery in June.

Ahead of last year’s short course championships, Chalmers suffered from an irregular heartbeat.

Standing behind the starting blocks his heart would occasionally race up to 200 beats a minute.

“I was gearing up for my 100m freestyle when it happened, so this year I’m pretty excited I no longer have to worry about that,” he said.

The corrective procedure forced Chalmers out of the world championships, and he admitted watching on was frustrating.

“It kind of hit me that I wasn’t competing and I wasn’t part of the team,” he said.

“And watching the men’s 100m freestyle and seeing them go 47.1 (seconds) has definitely motivated me to get back in the pool and give it my all leading into the Commonwealth Games.”

At 19, Chalmers has quickly become a senior member of Australian swimming with the eyes of the media and his peers squarely focused on him.

“Two years ago I was able to rock up at a meeting like this and I probably wasn’t even training properly,” he said.

“But now coming to the pool and having cameras on me to do a training session before the comp starts is daunting.”

Chalmers will race in the 50m, 100m, 200m freestyle, relays and potentially the 50m and 100m butterfly as he builds up for April’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

-AAP

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