Candice Warner has ventured into the murky waters of the Commonwealth Games’ swimming “love triangle”, offering up some blunt criticism for Kyle Chalmers.
She revealed her surprise about how badly he handled the headlines after a “media frenzy” over his relationship with ex and Commonwealth Games golden girl Emma McKeon and her new boyfriend, pop star-turned fellow swimmer Cody Simpson.
Acknowledging “alpha male” Chalmers’ ego “would be burnt a little bit” by McKeon’s new relationship, Warner said she expected someone who had dealt with media scrutiny since 2016 — when he won the gold medal for the 100m freestyle at the Rio Olympics — to manage his interactions with the media far better.
“He knows how to deal with the pressure. Why is he allowing the media to make these comments?” the former ironwoman and wife of Australian cricketer David Warner asked on Fox Sports program The Back Page.
“Why hasn’t he put a self-imposed media ban (on himself) until the Games are over? I’m just really a little bit confused by the situation and why he’s engaging with the media.
“He’s not in the wrong, but he also has the power and ability to stop it and also just to focus on his swim events.
“Should he know how to deal with this pressure? Should he know how to deal with this completely?”
Rumors of a supposed rift between Chalmers and Simpson dominated media coverage of the Australian swim team’s success at the Commonwealth Games, leading Chalmers to admit that he was considering quitting the Games and the sport entirely over the mental anguish it had caused.
The swim star accused the media of using him for “clickbait” by publishing stories about his relationships with Emma McKeon and Cody Simpson.
“It’s all just false news that is actually just crap, it’s honestly just a load of sh*t that is not true,” Chalmers told reporters.
After winning the 100m freestyle gold medal in Birmingham on Monday night, Chalmers climbed on the lane rope and signaled silence in a message to media about his ordeal.
After the race he said his last two days had “been hell.”
“I just hope no-one has to go through what I have had to go through over the last 48 hours,” the 24-year-old said.
“It has been an emotional rollercoaster.”