Pop star Cody Simpson upstages Kyle Chalmers at Australian swimming trials | Swimming

Singer-turned-swimmer Cody Simpson is on track for a remarkable world championships debut after upstaging Olympic freestyle gold medallist Kyle Chalmers at the Australian national championships in Adelaide.

Simpson, 25, won his heat in the 100 metres butterfly in a personal best time of 51.79 seconds, qualifying second for the final later on Wednesday behind defending champion Matt Temple (51.64).

Chalmers, who won 100m freestyle gold at Rio and silver at Tokyo, was third quickest. Simpson’s swim was well under governing body Fina’s 51.96 A qualifying time for next month’s world championships in Budapest.

The top three in the final under the A time also qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Meanwhile, Shayna Jack is on track to return to the Australian swim team after winning her 100 metres freestyle heat on the opening day 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.

Shayna Jack exits the pool following her 100m freestyle heat in Adelaide.
Shayna Jack exits the pool following her 100m freestyle heat in Adelaide. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

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.

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.

Simpson, a talented junior swimmer before pursuing a music career in his teen years, finished eighth in the 100 butterfly final at Australia’s Olympic trials last year to fall short of a spot on the Tokyo team.

Twice Olympic 1,500m freestyle champion Grant Hackett tipped a big meeting in Adelaide for Simpson before the trials.

“I actually think Cody’s a real chance,” said TV pundit Hackett. “He’s done all the work. He looks super fit and the body’s in good shape.”

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.

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