Chalmers gob­bles up new rou­tine in suc­cess hunger

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - REECE HOM­FRAY

FRI­DAY schnitzel Chalmers.

He’d go to the Earl of Leices­ter Ho­tel with his mates and or­der the big­gest chicken schnitzel he could get – and de­vour it the same way he stalks and gob­bles up his ri­vals in that dev­as­tat­ing fi­nal 50m in the pool.

“And ev­ery lunch I would eat out be­cause that was my first pe­riod of be­ing home by my­self,” Chalmers said.

And then he won an Olympic gold medal in Rio. In the 100m freestyle. night used to be night for Kyle

That was the 2016 ver­sion of Chalmers – young, fast and fear­less and an even­tual Rio Olympics gold win­ner, but who didn’t do much gym and barely knew what the word skin­fold meant or pay at­ten­tion to them.

The 2018 ver­sion of Chalmers is like a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son. Sit­ting on the pool deck at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Cen­tre, he looked fit, strong and, to the un­e­d­u­cated eye, lean. But in a swim­mer’s world there’s lean and then there’s lean.

“I’m about 5kg over­weight,” he says af­ter re­turn­ing to rac­ing from his mid-year break at the na­tional short-course cham­pi­onships. If Chalmers is 5kg over­weight, he does a good job of hid­ing it.

“In Rio I was 92kg but it’s un­re­al­is­tic to get back to that be­cause I was 18 years old with a very high me­tab­o­lism, whereas that’s slowed down quite a bit now and I’m do­ing a lot of gym work,” he said.

“In Rio I wasn’t think­ing about those things and I could get away with eat­ing any­thing I wanted.”

A com­bi­na­tion of things have now changed.

Nat­u­rally, Chalmers is ma­tur­ing as a pro­fes­sional ath­lete – he is des­per­ately hun­gry not for his next schnitzel but to de­fend his Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, and his Mar­ion train­ing squad has im­proved with the ad­di­tion of in­ter­state swim­mers.

One of them is his girl­friend Madi Wil­son – her­self an Olympic gold medal­list and world cham­pion.

Chalmers has a lot to thank her for. “I’m very, very strict now (with diet) and hav­ing Madi around home has made me re­alise what a pro­fes­sional ath­lete should eat, and also I can’t get away with eat­ing like I used to any­more,” he said.

“I was chat­ting to Bish (coach Pe­ter Bishop) about that the other day and I un­der­stand ex­actly what I need to do to get back to race weight and it will hap­pen.”

Chalmers is rac­ing in two FINA world cups, start­ing in Ja­pan this week­end then Sin­ga­pore later this month, be­fore com­pet­ing in the In­ter­na­tional Swim­ming League (ISL) in Eu­rope.

“We’re re­ally tar­get­ing the ISL meet at the end of the year in Torino. Es­sen­tially they’re try­ing to do it like the BBL cricket, bring­ing the world’s best swim­mers to­gether, and it will be awe­some to swim with guys who have won Olympic gold medals from other coun­tries,” Chalmers said.

Next year’s goal is the world cham­pi­onships which presents a big op­por­tu­nity.

“I’ve never been a world cham­pion be­fore so that’s some­thing I’d love to do,” Chalmers said.

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