Cody Simpson took almost a second from his personal best time to qualify for the second fastest game in tonight’s 100m butterfly final at the Australian Swimming Championships.
Simpson stopped the clock at 51.79 seconds, only Matthew Temple (51.64) was able to set a quick time in this morning’s heat.
Kyle Chalmers top three rounds at 52.10.
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The top three finishers in tonight’s final will advance to the Australian team for the Commonwealth Games in July, where the top two will compete in the World Championships in June.
Simpson’s previous PB was 52.66. He finished eighth in the same event at last year’s national titles, which doubled as a qualifying trial for the Tokyo Olympics.
Speaking to Wide World of Sports ahead of the election trial, Amazon Prime video commentator Grant Hackett said he thought a place on the team for Birmingham was within Simpson’s reach.
“Look, it’s still going to be an expansion, but it’s not unrealistic to say, in terms of the times he’s creating,” Hackett said.
“I’ve always said that although last year’s Olympic team was unrealistic, people moved away with the hype, but I said at the time that it would be interesting if he made it to the finals, and he did.
“This year, getting a medal is something that is much more likely than 12 months ago.”
Although many dismissed Simpson’s early adventures as a stunt, it ignores the fact that he was a national swimmer as a child.
That’s why Hackett is confident that Simpson’s rivals will take the 25-year-old seriously.
“Cody is 100 per cent committed to the game and the preparation it takes to rise to one of these national teams and represent Australia,” he said.
“We’re going to see a Cody Simpson that is faster and more serious and more competitive than last year.
“It’s starting to be real for his competitors now, that Cody is looking for a medal this time, not just a final.”
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