Australian swimming champion Kyle Chalmers is set to undergo heart surgery, with the view of returning in time for Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The 18-year-old’s heart condition known as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a rapid heartbeat which he says has begun to worsen over time.
The condition has resulted in his withdrawal from July’s World Swimming Championships in Budapest.
“I have been swimming with an ongoing heart condition known as supraventricular tachycardia and have increasingly begun to suffer from an abnormally fast heart rhythm during training and competitions, which now requires surgery,” Chalmers said in a statement.
“It is with great regret that I have withdrawn from the 2017 FINA World Championships in July. I have done so to give myself the best opportunity to swim fast on home soil at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
Chalmers is expected to undergo surgery in coming weeks and said he hoped to return to the pool not long after.
“I can’t wait to be back in the pool in a few weeks and I wish all the Aussies competing at the World Championships the best of luck.”
His decision was made carefully in consultation with his doctor and Coach Peter Bishop, who believes the tough decision is the most practical.
“We decided it was in Kyle’s best long term interest to get the surgery done sooner rather than later. This will enable Kyle a good recovery period, before preparing for a home Commonwealth Games in 2018,” Bishop said.
Decisions regarding Chalmers’ replacement in the individual 100m freestyle event in Budapest will be announced by Swimming Australia shortly.