Australian swimming championships 2022: Kyle Chalmers did not attend swim team announcement

In a sensational twist to one of the most dramatic weeks in Australian swimming, the country’s fastest freestyler stayed home for the team’s unveiling. See the final team.

Kyle Chalmers was a shock absentee from Sunday’s ceremony announcing the Australian swim team, which included pop star Cody Simpson, saying he was taking a break from the spotlight for mental health reasons.

Swimming Australia said Chalmers had its full support reasons after a week when he created headlines by changing his mind about giving up his spot to Simpson at the world championships.

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“The last few days have been difficult for Kyle, both mentally and emotionally,” a Swimming Australia spokesman said.

“He believes it’s in the best interest of his mental health to remain in Port Lincoln with his family for the next few days. Swimming Australia fully supports his decision.”

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Cody Simpson has been named in the team. Picture: Brenton Edwards
Cody Simpson has been named in the team. Picture: Brenton Edwards

Simpson – who finished third behind Matt Temple and Chlamers in the men’s 100m butterfly final – was not named on the team for the world championships.

But the ex-boyfriend of Miley Cyrus was selected for the Commonwealth Games, completing a remarkable comeback to the sport after he quit his music career.

His only hope of making the team for the world titles was if Chalmers pulled out. Chalmers originally said he would, having recently undergone surgery, but changed his mind this week.

He later became incensed by questions about his motives after it was revealed Simpson was dating his ex-flame Emma McKeon.

He posted a message on his Instagram account explaining his decision:

“The past few days have been really challenging for me mentally and emotionally and it’s taken a massive toll on me. I need to look after my mental health and get myself right as I prepare for a massive year in the pool,” Chalmers wrote.

“The negative media attention surrounding my decision to compete at worlds and the made-up story lines surrounding my personal life have been more than I can handle.

“After giving my all to the sport and being so welcoming to the media all my career it’s a shame to see them publish storylines questioning my integrity all for the sake of extra clicks and money.”

A controversial national championships has taken its toll on Kyle Chalmers. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
A controversial national championships has taken its toll on Kyle Chalmers. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

He returned to his home in Port Lincoln before the end of the trials and played for a local footy team before notifying officials he wasn’t coming back for the team announcement, which was streamed live.

Every other member of the Australian swim team, apart from Kiah Melverton, did attend the ceremony – including Simpson and McKeon, who was also named only for the Commonwealth Games after she announced earlier this year she was skipping the world titles.

Given an automatic place in the team for Birmingham as a reward for her stunning Olympic performances last year, she did not compete at the trials but flew down to Adelaide for the official team announcement.

Australian team for Commonwealth Games

Men: Ben Armbruster, Grayson Bell, Kyle Chalmers, Isaac Cooper, Joshua Edwards-Smith, Bowen Gough, Mack Horton, Zac Incerti, Mitch Larkin, Se-Bom Lee, Thomas Nowakowski, Kieran Pollard, Sam Short, Cody Simpson, Brendon Smith, Flynn Southam, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matt Temple, Brad Woodward, Sam Williamson, Matt Wilson, Elijah Winnington, Josh Yong, William Yang.

Women: Minna Atherton, Holly Barrett, Abbey Connor, Elizabeth Dekkers, Jenna Forrester, Abbey Harkin, Meg Harris, Chelsea Hodges, Shayna Jack, Bronte Job, Emma McKeon, Kaylee McKeown, Taylor McKeown, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O’Callaghan, Lani Pallister, Alexandria Perkins, Ella Ramsey, Jenna Strauch, Brianna Throssell, Ariarne Titmus, Madi Wilson.

Originally published as Australian swimming championships 2022: Kyle Chalmers did not attend swim team announcement