April 6, 2018 / 10:22 AM / 4 months ago

Chalmers back from heart surgery to win 200m freestyle

GOLD COAST, Australia (Reuters) - Australia’s Kyle Chalmers capped a remarkable return from heart surgery to lead home an Australian one-two finish in the men’s 200m freestyle final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Friday, pipping compatriot Mack Horton to the gold medal.

Swimming - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Men's 200m Freestyle Final - Optus Aquatic Centre - Gold Coast, Australia - April 6, 2018 - Gold medalist Kyle Chalmers of Australia. REUTERS/Jeremy Lee

Chalmers, the Rio Olympics 100m freestyle champion who missed all of 2017 after having the corrective surgery, clocked one minute, 45.56 seconds, just ahead of 400m champion Horton, who finished in 1:45.89.

Swimming - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Men's 200m Freestyle Final - Optus Aquatic Centre - Gold Coast, Australia - April 6, 2018 - Gold medalist Kyle Chalmers and silver medalists Mac Horton of Australia on the podium. REUTERS/David Gray

Scotland’s Duncan Scott, the fastest qualifier into the final, finished third.

The final was arguably the most high-powered of the second day of competition at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre with three Olympic champions in Chad les Clos, Chalmers and Horton, even if none were actually 200m freestyle winners.

England’s James Guy, however, was the 2015 world champion, while le Clos had claimed silver behind China’s Sun Yang in the event in Rio.

Slideshow (3 Images)

“The standard was very good, especially at this time of year,” Scott said. “Those boys were very good. It was good out there, the crowd were fantastic as well.”

“It’s good to have Aussies in your race to get the crowd going as well.”

Chalmers had sat back as South Africa’s les Clos, who had won the 50m butterfly title about 20 minutes earlier, took on the early pace for the first two laps before Guy took the lead at the turn for home.

The Rio Olympics 100m freestyle champion then stormed past Guy and held off the fast finishing Horton.

Le Clos, whose medal ceremony for the butterfly had ended about five minutes before he was back on the blocks, faded to finish seventh.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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