Kyle Chalmers has been accused of attracting unwanted attention to himself by Channel 7 host Johanna Griggs following his tirade against media questions regarding his private life.
On Sunday, the 24-year-old Chalmers ripped into the constant questioning about potential tension between himself, former partner Emma McKeon and her current flame and Australian teammate Cody Simpson.
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Near continuous speculation about the trio, dating back to the Australian trials earlier this year, led to Chalmers biting back during a Commonwealth Games press conference.
Despite winning two relay gold medals in Birmingham, one with the mixed team, Chalmers' frustration with the constant line of questioning got the better of him after his strong performance in the 100m freestyle heats.
Such was his frustration Chalmers declared he had considered walking away from the sport, describing his experience at the Commonwealth Games as 'terrible' and 'extremely challenging' thanks to the reports about he, McKeon and Simpson.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) July 31, 2022
However his responses didn't impress Griggs, herself a Commonwealth Games medallist, who suggested Chalmers had been inadvertently 'feeding' the questions.
Griggs, who has been commentating the Games for broadcaster Channel 7, said irrelevant questions were simply part of the territory of being an elite athlete and he would be best served by moving on from the story as best he could, suggesting it could 'derail his campaign' if he didn't.
“He seems to be feeding it, which is the ironic situation with all these sorts of things," Griggs said.
“You can’t just expect the headlines to always be great. You have to accept that occasionally they might be about other people and sometimes they may not necessarily show you in the same light.
“Do I think (the headlines) are affecting Emma McKeon? Absolutely not.
“She’s amazing, right. So she’s proven, without question, that she is able to compartmentalise whatever’s going on.”
Chalmers labelled reports of a rift in the swim team because of the so-called love triangle as "honestly, just a load of s*** that is not true".
Kyle Chalmers left frustrated by Commonwealth Games speculation
The Olympic champion admitted that it took all his mental resolve to swim the 100m freestyle heats on Sunday morning, after being bombarded by questions from the media less than a day earlier.
“For me it took all my courage and all my energy just to stand behind the blocks and swim this morning. It’s not something that I wanted to do. It’s not something that I wanted to go through, to be honest with you," Chalmers told fellow Aussie swimming legend Cate Campbell in an interview at poolside.
“I’ve been so excited for this moment for such a long period of time and been working hard to be here for such a long time. For how it’s unfolded, yeah, definitely makes me question my future in the sport.”
Though Griggs said Chalmers needed to find a way to overcome the scrutiny, she was understanding of his position.
Admitting that it was often 'tedious' to have to answer seemingly unnecessary questions, Griggs implored Chalmers to focus on leaving his legacy in the pool.
“If you’re a tennis player, that happens not only at every major tournament, it happens at every press conference, it happens at every week — same as the footballers, week in, week out," she told Triple M.
“It’s the reality of sport so I’m hoping Kyle stops feeding it.
“I get he’s feeling incredibly swamped at the moment. Every time he mentions it, he makes it a bigger story.”
Chalmers said in a seperate interview that the constant speculation was having a serious affect on his mental health.
"For me, it took every little bit of courage to get out of bed this morning and stand on the blocks and race," he told reporters.
"I want to be on a plane home and be done with it all. It is very, very overwhelming and upsetting.
"I don't want any of this.
"I love being part of the Australian swimming team, I love standing in front of big crowds and swimming fast. But for me, it's taking too much of a toll on my mental health."
Incredibly, Chalmers brushed off the drama to set a new Commonwealth Games record in the semi-finals of the 100m freestyle, qualifying fastest for the final with a blistering 47.36 seconds.
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