By M.J. Bale
Olympic 100 metre gold medallist and current world champion Kyle Chalmers takes us through what goes through his mind on the starting block
"When I’m standing on those blocks and there are 15,000 people in the crowd... its so loud when your name gets called out. Then the starter goes ‘take your marks’ and it's completely dead silent. It’s almost an eerie feeling. But I guess at that point in time you’re really in your own head and you’re ready to race. You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself. I always think of UFC fighters or boxers; they always believe they’re going to win, no matter what. It's something I’ve tried to take into swimming, to have that self-belief. If you believe you can win, there’s no reason why you can’t.
I'm a very hard trainer and I believe that leading into the Olympics I did everything possible to succeed. I was doing my own skill sessions and then rolling off a few kilometres [in the pool]. I picked up gym and was doing beach swims with the long distance guys. Just simple things like that that I knew was keeping me active and giving me the edge over my competitors. So, when I stood behind those blocks I may not have been the fastest in the race, but I knew I was the fittest. That showed in the back end [of my Olympic gold-winning swim]. I turned seventh [at the 50-metre mark] and had that self-belief. I knew that I’d been training so hard that I’d be able to come home and, as it turned out, I managed to get my hand on the wall first."
“You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself… If you believe you can win, there’s no reason why you can’t.”