Chalmers wins silver in 100m freestyle at Olympics

SILVER: Kyle Chalmers holds up his silver medal, earned from his swim in the 100m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: AAP
SILVER: Kyle Chalmers holds up his silver medal, earned from his swim in the 100m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: AAP

Kyle Chalmers has put on a spirited performance in the defence of his gold medal in the 100m freestyle, earning a silver medal in a thrilling final at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

Chalmers won gold in the 100m freestyle in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and went into the final in lane seven after qualifying sixth fastest in the semi finals the previous day.

After entering the water with a reaction time of 0.66, Chalmers made his way to third in the first 50 and powered home going head-to-head with American champion Caeleb Dressel.

The two were neck-and-neck at the finish with Dressel finishing 0.06 seconds ahead to win the gold, Chalmers claiming silver and Kliment Koleshnikov of the Russian Olympic Committee earning bronze.

Chalmers said the Channel 7 after the race it was a bit more challenging swimming from the outside lanes but he gave it his all in the final.

"I did everything in my absolute power to win, obviously life is not always about winning but it is nice and I executed the race well and I felt strong and felt good," he said.

SECOND: Kyle Chalmers looks up after completing the 100m freestyle final, winning silver. Photo: AAP

SECOND: Kyle Chalmers looks up after completing the 100m freestyle final, winning silver. Photo: AAP

Chalmers said he was grateful for all the support he had received and was inspired by footage in 2016 of his grandparents Malcolm and Julie Bagnell's emotional reaction to his win in Rio.

Mr and Mrs Bagnell were watching once again in Port Lincoln and were proud of their grandson's performance in Tokyo.

Mr Bagnell said the swim was "bloody amazing" and they were both very proud grandparents.

"I had a tingling sensation going through my body, I felt like I was swimming with him," he said.

SUPPORTERS: Kyle Chalmers' grandparents Malcolm and Julie Bagnell cheered him on from home in Port Lincoln. Photo: supplied

SUPPORTERS: Kyle Chalmers' grandparents Malcolm and Julie Bagnell cheered him on from home in Port Lincoln. Photo: supplied

"I said 'if he can get a medal and bring the medal back for us in Australia, how wonderful would that be?'

"We are so very proud of him."

The silver medal brings Chalmers medal haul to three, following his bronze medal wins as part of Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m freestyle relay teams.

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