Adelaide swimmer Kyle Chalmers, who claimed a stunning last-to-first victory in the 100m freestyle at the Rio 2016 Olympics, is set to have heart surgery.
The Adelaide Advertiser reports that the 18-year-old has a condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia, also known as SVT. According to the Medical Journal of Australia, it's a non life-threatening cardiac rhythm disturbance which can get worse over time.
The Journal says:
Although SVT is usually not life-threatening, many patients suffer recurrent symptoms that have a major impact on their quality of life. The uncertain and sporadic nature of episodes of tachycardia can cause considerable anxiety -- many patients curtail their lifestyle as a result, and many prefer curative treatment.
It's that uncertainty factor which appears to have led Chalmers to decide to have surgery now.
"We decided it was in Kyle's best long-term interest to get the surgery done sooner rather than later," the his coach Peter Bishop told The Advertiser.
Chalmers missed the final of the national short course championships in Brisbane last year due to his SVT:
"I'll be training and then my heart rate will just randomly go up and sit at 200-plus for half an hour," he told the Australian at the time. "I can feel it, it makes me go all dizzy."
The decision to have surgery now means that Chalmers will miss this year's FINA World Championships in Hungary in July.
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