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Chalmers plays down health concerns

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 Laine Clark

Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers has played down health concerns despite being forced to miss December's world short course titles in Canada due to a heart condition.

Chalmers made himself unavailable after suffering a health scare 20 minutes before the the 100m freestyle final at the Brisbane trials, forcing him to pull out of his pet event.

Chalmers was diagnosed as a kid with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) which can cause a dramatic spike in heart rate.

But it marked the first time Chalmers had experienced an episode during competition.

Chalmers, 18, insisted the long time condition wasn't playing on his mind.

"Health's good," he told Swimming Australia.

"I have had that heart problem since I was 10-years-old growing up in Port Lincoln,so I know exactly what it is and how to deal with it.

"It was just unfortunate I had it before my main race."

Selectors could have used discretionary powers and picked Chalmers who backed up the day after his scare to claim 200m freestyle bronze at the trials.

But after consultation with his coach Peter Bishop, Chalmers opted for much needed rest following a whirlwind three months since his Rio gold.

"It was very unlucky," Chalmers' said of the scare's timing.

"I know it did knock me around a fair bit because I did want to stand up and do well in the 100m (at trials) because I had been swimming well."

Chalmers had shown no sign of the condition ahead of the trials, recently breaking two junior world records in the World Cup short course series.

Chalmers is now finally able to reflect on his golden year.

Besides his 100m Rio triumph, Chalmers also claimed top honours at the Swimming Australia awards in Brisbane on Sunday night.

He was named Olympic Program Swimmer of the Year and earned Golden Moment of the Year for his Rio win.

Chalmers became the first Australian to claim the 100m Olympic title since Michael Wenden in 1968 and only the fourth overall.

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