Kyle Chalmers smacks down retirement talk after announcement rocks swimming world

The Olympic gold medallist has revealed the Paris Games in 2024 will be his last, however he's not retiring just yet.

Kyle Chalmers.
Kyle Chalmers has revealed he will retire from swimming after the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Image: Getty

Kyle Chalmers has clarified that he's not retiring from professional swimming after the Paris Olympics next year, but it will be his final Olympics appearance. Speaking on SEN radio on Wednesday, the 25-year-old said the 2024 Games will be his last.

While stopping short of announcing his retirement, he said he would be "ready to start the next chapter in my life" after the Olympics. "Even this year being in the (world championships) marshalling room, I was the oldest in the race," he said."The guys are 2003, 2004 born now.

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"(World 100m freestyle record holder) David Popovici, the Romanian boy, has just turned 18; the Aussie boy Flynn Southam coming through, he's just turned 18. A lot of young guys rolling through and I'm definitely the old man in the marshalling room now.

"(After the Olympics) I will be old and probably ready to start the next chapter of my life. We'll see what happens."

Kyle Chalmers not announcing retirement just yet

After his comments were interpreted to mean he was announcing his retirement, Chalmers took to Instagram to clarify. “There are many competitions after the Olympics that still give me the opportunity to represent my country at the highest level," he said.

"We have a world championships short course in 2024, world championship long course in 2025, Commonwealth Games in 2026 and plenty of World Cups in there also. I’ll be busy, I have plenty of titles that need defending.

“But yes Paris will be my third and most likely last Olympic Games. 2028 is a very long way away, but who knows, if the body and the mind hold up maybe I’ll even be in Brisbane in 2032. For now it’s time to lock in and give my absolute all to having success in Paris. Hungrier then ever.”

Chalmers, who will be 26 at the Olympics next year, collected the only gold medal that was missing from his cabinet at the world championships in Fukuoka last month. He had won 100m gold at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and short course world championships, but never at a long course world championships before.

He triumphed in the 100m at Fukuoka with a trademark last-lap surge, turning in seventh place before powering to the finish to win in 47.15 from American Jack Alexy (47.31). "There is no better feeling," he said.

"I obviously worked so hard for it day-in, day-out, for such a long period of time. I have been to four world championships now and have never been able to have been on top of the podium.

"To do that this time around was a feeling, that high, that you kind of chase every single day and what motivates you in the pool every single day, so to have that feeling, it's very satisfying. I have got to try and find the next thing to chase, luckily for me the Olympics is next year so that will give me a bit of motivation again."

Kyle Chalmers at the swimming world championships in Fukuoka.
Kyle Chalmers celebrates after winning gold at the swimming world championships. (Photo by DBM/Insidefoto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images) (Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Im)

Kyle Chalmers' previous comments hint at walking away

The Olympic gold medallist has been at the centre of unwanted attention in recent times and has previously expressed feeling fatigued and worn out by media scrutiny around his personal life. Last year he lashed out over a so-called 'love triangle' between himself, ex-girlfriend Emma McKeown and Cody Simpson.

“I get home to Port Lincoln and all my social media is all that and negative interviews or articles. Go on Instagram it’s all I’d see, go on Facebook it was all I’d see," he said.

“It was very, very fatiguing and exhausting. It was something I didn’t want to deal with. I was so proud of my achievement (at the Commonwealth Games) and I felt my achievement kind of just got cut down, struck away and I found it very challenging to deal with."

Chalmers dated McKeon in 2021 before they split, with McKeon since moving on with Simpson. Chalmers blasted the media attention on the supposed 'love triangle' as fake news, which he said made him feel like departing the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham early and reconsidering his swimming future.

Chalmers shocked the swimming world in 2016 when he won the 100m title at the Rio Olympics as an 18-year-old. He became just the fourth Australian man to win 100m gold at the Olympics - joining Jon Henricks (1956), John Devittt (1960) and Michael Wenden (1968). He has also won a silver medal at the Olympics and four bronze.

with AAP

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