Cody Simpson surges into final of 100m butterfly at Olympic trials

For those wondering all along whether musician-turned-athlete Cody Simpson really can compete at the top level, the answer is a definitive yes.

The Queenslander, who shot to fame as a recording artist as a teenager, has made the final of the 100m butterfly at the Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide, qualifying in sixth place after another dramatic improvement to his personal best.

Cody Simpson has continued his remarkable return to the pool with a final at the Olympic trials.Credit:Getty

Simpson was in the fast heat to lead off the program and finished third in a time of 52.84, shaving almost a second off his previous mark. It was good enough for a spot in the final behind the fastest qualifier Matt Temple, the former scaffolder from Victoria who leads the pack with a 51.79s.

The Olympic qualifying mark set by Swimming Australia for this event is 51.70s, meaning even Temple, who has already qualified for the 200m, will have to put the handlebars down to get over the line. Simpson would need to drop a further 1.14s to be in the running.

It’s difficult to see him trimming that sort of time but it’s also beside the point, because Simpson has done a terrific job to even make it this far this early.

The 24-year-old was a talented junior who stopped swimming on account of becoming a global recording sensation. He only made a serious return last year after more than a decade on the sidelines and his target had been Paris 2024. Then Tokyo was postponed and he found himself at an Olympic trials in 2021.

Given his rate of improvement, there’s little reason Simpson can’t find himself on an Australian team sooner rather than later, perhaps even as early as next year for the Commonwealth Games, where they take three athletes per event instead of the two for the Olympics and World Championships.

He told the Herald and The Age in May about the night that set him back on a path towards competitive swimming, as well as how he’s been guided and encouraged by some of the biggest names in the history of the sport, including Grant Hackett and Michael Phelps.

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