Pop star-turned-competitive swimmer Cody Simpson most likely booked himself a spot on the Australian International team for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships later this year, with a blistering swim in the 100-meter butterfly at the Australian Championships on Wednesday.
Simpson, who returned to the sport two years ago after a decade-long break from competition, equaled the qualifying time of 51.96 in the finals of the event on Wednesday. He finished third behind Olympians Matthew Temple (51.50) and Kyle Chalmers (51.67).
The top two swimmers under the qualifying time advance to next month’s World Championships, but Chalmers has said publicly that he will skip the international competition in Budapest next month. The top three qualifiers advance to the Commonwealth Games in late July.
The result marks a major milestone in Simpson’s return to the pool. After beginning to train at a competitive level again in 2020, he placed eighth in the 100-meter butterfly at last year’s Australian Olympic Trials with a time of 52.94.
“I didn’t even think I’d be remotely competitive, even racing, until this year at the earliest, so to potentially make the team already is just a bonus on the way to Paris,” Simpson said on Amazon Prime, per NBC’s Olympic Talk, referring to his ultimate goal of making the 2024 Olympic team. “So much progress from last year, just been busting my a-- all year, so it’s amazing to see results like this pay off.”
Simpson swam a 51.79 in the prelims of the event, the eighth-fastest time by an Australian man in the 100-meter butterfly all time.
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