Cody Simpson is facing a tough task to complete his goal and reach the 2024 Paris Olympic Games after a disappointing finish at the Australian Swimming Championship on Wednesday night. The former pop star turned his attention to swimming in 2019 and made his debut for Australia at last year's Commonwealth Games after finishing third in the national butterfly trials.
Simpson's incredible career switch made headlines around the world as he took to the pool with Australia's star-studded team. The 26-year-old had then set his sight on the biggest stage of all, reaching the Paris Olympics next year.
However, in a brutal setback for the swimming sensation, Simpson might need to rethink how he will qualify for the Olympics having finished eighth in his best event - the 100m butterfly - at the Australian Swimming Championship. Simpson's dream is hanging by a thread after he finished with a time of 53.48 seconds, which was a whole two seconds behind national champion Matthew Temple.
And his chances appear to be getting dimmer with prodigies Ben Armbruster and Jesse Coleman finishing ahead of him with brilliant swims to put their names in the hat for qualification. Armbruster, 20, finished second only 0.47 seconds behind Temple.
This sets up an intriguing battle at the Olympics with the 20-year-old already looking like a new sensation in the pool across multiple disciplines. Coleman finished with a time of 52.59 and the 18-year-old could also be a future star in the sport.
Armbruster's emergence as a serious threat on the world stage is a huge boost for Australia. The 20-year-old finished fourth in the men's 50m freestyle.
He also won the 50m butterfly and 100m backstroke earlier in the week. While Temple and the youngsters are quite away off Caeleb Dressel's world record time of 49.45 seconds, the future is looking promising. “I think it’s very exciting,” 100m butterfly winner Temple said of the competition coming through the ranks.
“It always keeps you on your toes with people coming up. “And yeah, for those boys – I know Jesse had a big week last week (at Australian age titles) – and Ben to go under 52 twice in one day with also the 50 free, credit to him.”
Cody Simpson's Paris Olympics dream in doubt
Simpson's best chances to make the Dolphins for the Paris Olympics could be turning his attention to the 100m freestyle. Simpson won a silver and gold in the freestyle at the Commonwealth Games having taken part in the 4x100m freestyle heats and the 4x100m medley race.
The Australian Trials will be held in June in Melbourne and Simpson could have quickly rethink what event he wants to focus on. However, his time of 53.48 is 1.6 seconds behind his personal best.
If Simpson is to reach his peak levels, there is no reason why he couldn't qualify for the butterfly. The former pop star will now turn his attention to the 100m freestyle heats on Thursday.
🗣️ "I want to inspire young people to know that they can do whatever it is they want to do, even if they feel like it's too late or they're too old to pick something up, because it's never too late."
- Cody Simpson after his swim in the 100 butterfly final #B2022 pic.twitter.com/vILmMskcqO
— 7Sport (@7Sport) August 2, 2022
"I want to inspire young people to know they can do whatever it is they want to do, even if they feel like it's too late or they're too old to pick something up, because it's never too late," Simpson said at the Commonwealth Games last year.
Simpson won't be going down without a fight after his inspirational Commonwealth Games feats, which he hoped would encourage Australians to chase their dreams.
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