Cody Simpson betters Olympic gold medallist at Aussie swimming trials

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·Sports Reporter
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Former popstar Cody Simpson will have a shot at Commonwealth Games selection in the final of the 100m butterfly at the Australian national championships. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
Former popstar Cody Simpson will have a shot at Commonwealth Games selection in the final of the 100m butterfly at the Australian national championships. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Once considered a rank outsider for Australian selection, former popstar Cody Simpson has inched closer to a potential Commonwealth Games call-up.

Simpson shaved nearly a second off his personal best time in the 100m butterfly at the national championships in Adelaide on Tuesday, finishing second in his heat behind national record holder Matt Temple.

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Crucially, Simpson finished ahead of Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers, marking an impressive leap forward in his performance.

This week's national championships are crucial, with places at both the upcoming World Championships and the 2022 Commonwealth Games later this year.

Having won through to the final, Simpson needs to finish in the top two to make it to the world championships, and top three to earn a Commonwealth Games call-up.

Simpson surprised the swimming world by announcing his intentions to vie for selection at the 2024 Paris Olympics back in 2020.

He launched a bid for selection at last year's Tokyo Games, impressively making it to the final of the 100m butterfly trials, but was the last placed finisher.

Plenty of progress has clearly been made since then, with Simpson sporting a genuine outside chance to earn selection.

A talented swimmer as a junior, Simpson's sporting career was put on hold when his musical career took off in 2010.

Simpson isn't the only Aussie swimmer on the comeback trail, with Shayna Jack also making her return to the national championships after serving a doping ban.

Shayna Jack back on track at Australian national championships

Jack won her 100 metres freestyle heat on Wednesday's opening day at the nationals in Adelaide.

Jack (53.27) was equal second-quickest into Wednesday night's 100m freestyle final, clocking the same time as Meg Harris, with Mollie O'Callaghan (52.83) the pacesetter.

Jack was initially banned for four years after testing positive to the banned substance Ligandrol about three weeks before the 2019 world championships.

The Queenslander appealed her ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which reduced her suspension to two years, finding Jack did not knowingly ingest the substance.

Jack's automatic selection for an individual 100m freestyle swim at the looming worlds and Commonwealth Games is complicated by the absence of Olympic champion Emma McKeon from the nationals.

Shayna Jack is vying for a spot on the Commonwealth Games team after serving a doping ban. (Photo by Delly Carr/Getty Images)
Shayna Jack is vying for a spot on the Commonwealth Games team after serving a doping ban. (Photo by Delly Carr/Getty Images)

McKeon's gold medal in the event at last year's Tokyo Olympics gives her automatic selection but she will miss the world titles to focus on the Commonwealth Games.

That means Jack needs to finish in the top two in Wednesday night's final to be assured of returning to the Dolphins team in an individual event.

Other Wednesday morning heats at the nationals included Elijah Winnington being quickest in the men's 400m freestyle followed by Sam Short and 2016 Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton.

Jenna Strauch and Abbey Harkin topped qualifying for the women's 100m breaststroke and Brad Woodward was fastest in the men's 200m backstroke heats.

With AAP

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