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Steve Larkin

Chalmers back in love with swimming ahead of worlds

Kyle Chalmers says he's rejuvenated his love for swimming ahead of the world titles. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Kyle Chalmers feels like a love-struck teen again.

The Australian almost split with swimming during a turbulent last year.

But Chalmers says he's now injury-free and again besotted with the sport entering the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

"I am 25 - my first senior team was 2015, my first junior team was 2012," Chalmers said.

"But I do feel like I am getting younger and more excited to do it more than ever.

"To be honest the pressure is probably off a little bit than it has been over the last few years."

Chalmers last year considered leaving the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham mid-meet, weighed down by media scrutiny and injury battles.

But he's rejuvenated ahead of the world titles - swimming competition starts Sunday.

"I am enjoying it a whole lot more," Chalmers said.

"Having a lot of fun with these guys that are coming through - and there's a lot of young guys who are just super excited to be here at a first world championships or a second one where they might be a little bit more competitive this year.

"And just hearing them talk about training and that energy they bring is just inspiring me and motivating me.

"I feel like I am a 17, 18-year-old kid again to be honest."

Last year, Chalmers said he felt like a 40-year-old because of shoulder surgeries which were impacting everyday life such as sleeping and driving a car.

He skipped last year's world titles to focus on the Commonwealth Games, where he won the 100 metre freestyle, raced at the world short course titles last December and then rested.

"I am finally injury free," he said.

"Very healthy at the moment, swimming fast in training.

"I have to try and relax right now ... don't get too excited, but I can't wait to rip into it."

Being world champion in his pet 100m freestyle is the missing piece in an esteemed career which includes gold in the event at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and world short course.

But Chalmers faces stiff competition in Fukuoka, where heats and semi-finals in the event will be contested next Wednesday and the medal race the following night.

Romania's world record holder and defending world champion David Popovici looms as the man to beat while China's emerging 18-year-old Pan Zhanle has logged the fastest time over the distance this year.

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