The extraordinary storm surrounding Aussie champion Kyle Chalmers and pop star Cody Simpson has ended with a whimper.
Aussie superstar Kyle Chalmers has suffered a crushing welcome to the 100m butterfly at the FINA world swimming championships.
The Olympic champion on Thursday night failed to qualify for the semi-finals after a disappointing swim that was well below his best performance.
Chalmers was competing in the 100m butterfly for the first time on the world stage after his decision earlier this year to add the event to his swimming program through to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
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Chalmers famously backflipped on his decision to contest the butterfly at the world championships in Budapest — a decision that ultimately dropped pop star Cody Simpson from the Aussie team.
Simpson and Chalmers will still swim alongside each other at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, beginning from July 28.
Chalmers showed what a special, classy swimmer he is when he helped Australia win silver in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay in Hungary, but his week is not finishing how he would have liked.
The most painful detail of his swim in the heats on Thursday was that his time of 52.70 was more than a second slower than the time he recorded at the Aussie swimming trials last month.
He finished 22nd overall, missing out on a spot in the semi-finals by 0.62 seconds.
The time Simpson recorded during the Australian championships would also have been enough for him to qualify for the semi-finals.
Australian 100m butterfly champion Matt Temple qualified for the semi-finals as the 12th fastest swimmer with a time of 51.86.
Hungary’s Kristof Milak topped the charts with a 50.68 — and is the man to catch after his world record swim in the men’s 200m butterfly on Tuesday.
The finals of the 100m butterfly will take place on Friday night (AEST).
Chalmers is now confronted with the question of deciding if he will continue to swim in the 100m butterfly or if he will instead turn his focus exclusively back to freestyle.
Chalmers, the Rio Olympics 100m freestyle gold medallist, is one of the favourites to win gold in the 100m freestyle in the Birmingham pool where he will be defending the Commonwealth Games gold medal he won on the Gold Coast in 2018.