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Olympic champ leads Aussie swim team for Commonwealth Games

March 3, 2018

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers leads a 49-member Australia swim team for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next month.

Competing in the same pool that will be used for the games — the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre — the Australians held their trials over four nights ending on Saturday and just five weeks from the start of the April 4-15 event.

In the past, the Australians have had their trials or national championships up to three months from an international event such as the Olympics, but moved them up for the first time to a time frame similar to one used by the U.S. swim team.

Cate Campbell made a strong return from a 2017 sabbatical to cope with a poor performance in 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The former world champion set Australian records in the 50-meter butterfly and 50 freestyle and also won the 100 freestyle.

The 19-year-old Chalmers, the Olympics 100 freestyle gold medalist, also claimed his first national titles — the 100-200 freestyle double — after his return from a year off to have a heart operation.

Ariarne Titmus, who is 17, became the first Australian woman in 14 years to win the 200-, 400- and 800 freestyle races.

The team’s youngest member is 16-year-old Kaylee McKeown, who upset world champion Emily Seebohm to win the 200 backstroke.

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