Kyle Chalmers wins ‘bittersweet’ gold in Commonwealth Games 100m freestyle after struggling with mental health

Australian freestyler and backstroker Kyle Chalmers said it took all his strength and courage to win his third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in the men’s 100m freestyle.

It wasn’t his fastest dive, but he said it was “bigger than just me racing”.

“It’s very, very bittersweet. It was the most challenging, probably 48 hours of my swimming career,” Chalmers said.

“And as nice as it is to win, it’s probably just a great sense of relief, rather than the satisfaction I thought I felt and wanted to feel after such a performance.”

Chalmers has been the focus of intense investigation into his personal life, and it came to a head a few nights ago at the Sandwell Aquatics Center, where he received more questions about non-sourced rumors of cracks in the team after winning the 4x100m freestyle in the men’s relay.

The 24-year-old considered running away and admitted he barely slept for the 100m freestyle heats.

But he insisted on sending a message.

Kyle Chalmers holds a finger to his lips in the Commonwealth Games pool.
Gold medalist Kyle Chalmers sent a message to the media after weeks of intensive investigation.(AP: Kirsty Wigglesworth)

“I’ve definitely had big battles with mental health for a long time, and it’s one of the most challenging things I’ve had to face and see the faces of my teammates and family,” he said.

“I think it’s important that people have the courage to stand up and talk about it.

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