Australian swimmer Kyle Chalmers has been forced out of the world championships.
Australian swimmer Kyle Chalmers has been forced out of the world championships. SAM MOOY

Olympic swim champion slowed by surgery

OLYMPIC swimming gold medallist Kyle Chalmers is set to undergo heart surgery and will miss the July world championships in Budapest.

Chalmers, who stunned the world when he won gold in the 100m freestyle in Rio last year, has a condition known as Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT), which is an elevated heart rate and can cause chest pains and an faintness.

While normally non-life-threatening it can impact quality of life.

"We decided it was in Kyle's best long-term interest to get the surgery done sooner rather than later," the 18-year-old's coach Peter Bishop said.

The condition forced him to withdraw from the national shortcourse championships late last year.

"He's had to manage it including for last year during Rio when he won that gold medal but they've decided he's actually had three attacks of it this year - one in competition and a couple in training," Nathan Templeton told SEN.

"They're just a bit concerned about it so they're going to get the surgery done now with the goal of getting him back and up and running for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year.

"They're pretty confident he's going to make a full recovery and hopefully go on to have the wonderful career he looks set for but I guess anytime you're having heart surgery there are some concerns and it's a bit scary, especially when you're only an 18-year-old."

It is not the first time the condition has forced Chalmers to have surgery, only last year he underwent a procedure in a bid to improve how he was feeling.

"I'll be training and then my heart rate will just randomly go up and sit at 200-plus for half an hour," he said in 2016.

"I can feel it, it makes me go all dizzy."

News of Chalmers' surgery comes just days after he was pictured playing a game of local footy alongside his younger brother, Jackson, for PHOS Camden's under-18s.

Chalmers kicked a goal playing up forward in the Phantoms' recent 49-point victory over Edwardstown at Camden Oval.