Commonwealth Games 2022: Kyle Chalmers Instagram, Emma McKeon, Cody Simpson

Kyle Chalmers has posted a lengthy Instagram spiel as he hit out at reports of friction between himself and Aussie Olympic legend Emma McKeon.

Chalmers anchored the Aussies home to win gold in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay on Sunday morning, but the post-race interview shifted towards swirling rumours of a “love triangle” before it was cut short as the Aussie champion walked away.

Chalmers took aim at the focus being away from the pool in a lengthy Instagram post while also detailing his ongoing mental health battle, admitting the toll has him at his “breaking point”.

“Tonight in Birmingham we should’ve been celebrating as a team for all the medals that were won in the pool. We capped off the night with a gold in both freestyle relay teams,” Chalmers wrote.

“Instead, the line of questioning by the media decided to pick up where they started back in May after trials.

“I don’t know how many more times it needs to be said by not only me but my fellow teammates, but these fake storyline’s (sic) are doing more harm than good.

“I have dedicated my life to this sport and representing my country. I am your poster boy from 2016 and I’m your villain in 2022. And for no reason other than some people in the media needing to justify their pay cheques and knowing that false headlines create clicks and earn them money.

“But do you know what it does to the humans you write about? It breaks them down little by little, and tonight is the breaking point.

“Up until this point I’ve tried to just keep on moving forward but tonight I ask that you please stop writing these false headlines otherwise my time in the sport will be finished. I don’t swim for this, I didn’t get into the sport to have to deal with this. I swim to inspire and I swim because I love my sport and it gives me purpose.

“This could end my time in swimming, I hope you are all aware. My mental health right now from all of this over the months is at rock bottom, I really hope that pleases the keyboard warriors that continue to write false news.

“Thank you again for the people who love, care and support me. You’ve been there for me everyday through this journey.. and without you I would not have been standing here racing. I would have been retired, but you motivated me, inspired me and helped me get through this battle. For that I am forever grateful.”

Chalmers posted to his Instagram story, detailing his disappointment with the constant coverage taking the shine away from the impressive feats of the swim team.

In an extraordinary end to Australia’s golden night, which also included a gold medal for McKeon, Shayna Jack, Madi Wilson and Mollie O’Callaghan in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, in the Birmingham pool, it emerged:

— Chalmers insisted he did congratulate McKeon on the pool deck following their mixed relay victory.

— Chalmers said he and Simpson speak regularly and will “chat tonight” after the South Australian superfish helped Simpson win his first ever Commonwealth gold medal.

— The 24-year-old appeared to call one reporter a “keyboard warrior”.

— McKeon said she and Chalmers did shake hands after the race; and

— Chalmers said he will soon walk away from media commitments on medical health grounds if things don’t change. He also suggested he could walk away from the sport as a result.

His press conference was eventually cut short by a Swimming Australia media official as the line of questioning continued towards Chalmers despite requests for questions to be directed to Chalmers’ teammate Yang.

Chalmers appeared to single one reporter out when he hit out at how the narrative has been portrayed.

“It’s not actually true. It’s false news,” he said.

“I can stand here and say everything positively now, but you’re probably going to go home and be a keyboard warrior.”

He said the team spirit within the Australian dressing room has not changed and that the team is still very much “together”. He also said he and Simpson do not need to be brought “together”.

“I say good luck to Cody, I say good job to Cody, I send him a message after the race,” he said.

“I do nothing but be as positive as I possibly can. I support him on the team, but again, people just want clickbait on the article.”

He went on to say: “It’s all just false news. It’s actually just cr**. It’s honestly a load of s***. It’s just not true.”

Originally published as Kyle Chalmers admits to being at ‘breaking point’ over media scrutiny outside of the pool

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