The Roar
The Roar


Comm Games Daily: 'They destroy people's lives' - Kyle's dad rips media and Swimming Aus, pole vaulter's gold

Kyle Chalmers of Team Australia celebrates after winning gold in the Men's 100m Freestyle Final at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
3rd August, 2022

 Australia ended day five of the Commonwealth Games 20 medals clear at the top of the medal table with 42 golds and 106 overall.

Emma McKeon won her 18th Commonwealth medal, with a bronze as she finished behind Mollie O’Callaghan and Shayna Jack in the 100m freestyle final.

Australia’s women swept the podium in the 800m freestyle, with Ariarne Titmus, Kiah Melverton and Lani Pallister.

Nina Kennedy won Australia’s first field medal of the Games with gold in the pole vault, after her bronze at the world championships last month.

There were also medals in 3×3 basketball, judo, gymnastics and on the athletics track.

‘Just don’t get it’

Brett Chalmers has accused Swimming Australia of failing to protect his Commonwealth Games champion son Kyle from overwhelming media scrutiny which led him to consider quitting the sport.


After winning the 100m freestyle gold medal in Birmingham on Monday night, Chalmers climbed on the lane rope and signalled silence in a message to media about his ordeal.

After the race he said his last two days had “been hell.”

“I just hope no-one has to go through what I have had to go through over the last 48 hours,” the 24-year-old said.

“It has been an emotional rollercoaster.”

The South Australian ace had been in the headlines after reports of a rift in the Dolphins camp, with speculation about his relationships with ex-girlfriend Emma McKeon and her new partner, fellow teammate and former popstar Cody Simpson.

Chalmers said the mental anguish had made him consider leaving Birmingham and even ending his sporting career rather than swimming on for the Paris Olympics.

Kyle Chalmers of Team Australia celebrates after winning gold in the Men's 100m Freestyle Final on day four of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatics Centre on August 1, 2022 on the Smethwick, United Kingdom. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Kyle Chalmers silences his critics. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)


A tearful Brett Chalmers, who was at their Adelaide home, said Swimming Australia should have done more to protect his son from allegations of a “love triangle”.

“I look at it and think if it was in a workplace and you’re being asked the same question over and over again it’s a form of bullying and harassment and it’s not condoned and it’s not accepted,” Chalmers senior told told Mix 102.3 on Tuesday.

“You’d be pulled into the manager’s office and if you don’t stop you’d probably lose your job, whereas these people get away with it, they destroy people’s lives and livelihoods, it’s pretty hard.

“I just don’t get it, why? I guess sporting organisations and sporting clubs allow this to happen.

“They (Swimming Australia) failed hugely, and they’ve allowed the media to dictate the questions and kept going on about it – they’ve failed to look after their athletes.”

Chalmers said it had been tough to watch from afar but felt his son was being supported by his coach and his teammates.

“Kyle’s a guy that holds it pretty close to his chest, there’s no doubt it’s been tough. It’s been tough on myself being 15,000km away, I can’t imagine what it’s been like for him not to have family and friends or close relatives around him,” he said.


“He’s got some good teammates and a really good coach so I’m sure they rallied around him and gave him the love he needed.”

Swimming Australia declined to comment.

Kennedy claims pole gold

Third in the world, first in the Commonwealth and all in the space of two weeks – no wonder Nina Kennedy is very proud of herself.

Twelve months after the crushing disappointment of bombing out in qualifying at the Tokyo Olympics, Kennedy restored Australian supremacy in the Commonwealth Games women’s pole vault with an utterly dominant display in Birmingham.

On a successful first day for the Australian team at Alexander Stadium, para-athletics sprinters Jaydon Page (silver in the men’s T45-47 100m) and Rhiannon Clarke (bronze in the women’s T37-38 100m) also claimed podium places. 

But the stand-out performance came from Kennedy.


Never mind that her winning height of 4.60m was 20cm less than what was required to claim third spot at the world titles in Eugene.

Australians have now won the women’s pole vault on six of the seven occasions it has been contested at Commonwealth level – a sequence broken only when Canadian Alysha Newman saluted four years ago on the Gold Coast.

“I am so proud of myself,” said the 25-year-old Kennedy.

“I was mentally quite flat after the world championships.

“I’d done such a great job and then to come here and repeat such a big effort was hard.”

Newman was forced to pull out early in Tuesday’s final due to a leg injury.


With Olympics bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw from England also a last-minute withdrawal due to injuries suffered when she snapped her pole mid-vault in Eugene, there was no-one left in the field with a personal best anywhere near Kennedy’s 4.82m.

As such, it shaped as something of a one-horse race.

And so it proved.

So confident was Kennedy that she passed at 4.50m when any clearance at that height would have been good enough for gold on her own.

It proved academic for the West Australian, who soared over 4.60m at the second attempt.

To the delight of the crowd, Kennedy defied tricky windy conditions to then have three unsuccessful cracks at what would have been a new Commonwealth record of 4.76m.


“Pole vault is a really interesting sport like that,” she said of the decision to skip 4.50m.

“You can play some mind games and some tactics, passing and what not.

“(The journey) is incredible.

“Just from Tokyo, this time last year I was at the bottom of my whole career, so to come third in the whole world and first in the Commonwealth is incredible.”

Molly Caudery from England claimed the silver on countback ahead of New Zealand’s Imogen Ayris after both cleared 4.45m.

Australian Taryn Gollshewsky finished fourth in the women’s discus, just 14cm short of the bronze medal, with a best throw of 56.85m.

The gold went to Nigerian Chioma Onyekwere (61.70m).


Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo added the Commonwealth 10,000m gold to his Olympics and world bronzes, outsprinting Kenyan Daniel Ebenyo to win in 27:09.19.

The first Australian to win a medal in the 2022 Games at Alexander Stadium was Clarke, who was third in the women’s T37/38 final won by Olivia Breen from Wales in 12.83.

Clarke clocked 13.13.

Page flew home for second in the men’s T45-47 100m in 11.10 but was never going to catch gold medallist Emmanuel Oynbo-Coker from England (10.94).

Robyn Lambird was fourth bethind a trio of English wheelchair racers in the women’s T33/34 100m final.

Games rooke Taneille Crase was in the bronze-medal position after four of seven events in the heptathlon.


Crase had 3604 points, with England’s 2019 world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson leading the way on 3765.