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Cody Simpson and Kyle Chalmers crash out of the 50m butterfly

Cody Simpson, Kyle Chalmers 50m butterfly semi-final swimming results ...
Cody Simpson and Kyle Chalmers have failed to qualify for the final of the 50m butterfly at the Commonwealth Games in a surprise turn-of-events for Australia.

The pop star and the superfish raced in separate semi-finals on Saturday morning (AEST), finishing sixth and fifth respectively.

Fellow Aussie Matt Temple also missed out, finishing sixth behind Chalmers.

Simpson was a surprise entrant in the event after Isaac Cooper’s withdrawal and was happy to have two competitive swims ahead of the 100m butterfly.

“It’s good to get that under my belt early in the week,” Simpson told Channel 7. “I’m having a good time so far.”

It came after Chalmers charged into the semis with a blistering heat time on Friday night.

Swimming legend Ian Thorpe said in commentary for Channel 7 he was “surprised” to see Simpson’s quick reaction time off the blocks because it didn’t look overly spritely, but it wasn’t enough as the former singer couldn’t keep up with the best of the field over the full 50m.

Simpson was 10th in the heats and was just 0.05 seconds outside his personal best time.

“It’s pretty wild,” he said on Channel 7. “You dream about it, to hopefully get here and repping the country.

Australia brings home gold at Commonwealth Games - Sport news australia ...
“It’s special to be here. It’s the fire that never left, never went out. An itch I had to scratch. 2024 will be a bonus.

“I’m here to try to get as much experience as I can. I was pretty relieved when they told me I could swim the 50 … it’s a good way to get a feel for the pool.”

Simpson is far from done at the Sandwell Aquatic Centre in Birmingham.

The 25-year-old’s journey from music artist to swimming star has captivated Australia this year since he qualified for the Commonwealth Games at the Australian Swimming Championships in May.

After sneaking into the Dolphins’ team as the third-fastest swimmer in the 100m butterfly — his pet event — Simpson was expected to be a minor footnote in the gold rush the Aussie team is expected to deliver at the Commonwealth Games.

However, he is now facing the possibility of competing in four events and chasing four medals as his

program suddenly explodes.

He was promoted to a spot in the 50m butterfly after teen sensation Cooper was axed for the Commonwealth Games as a result of wellbeing challenges, “including the use of medication”. Simpson was the fourth quickest swimmer at the national championships behind Kyle Chalmers, William Yang and Cooper.

It is in the relays that Simpson has his best chances of winning a medal.

Cody Simpson, Kyle Chalmers 50m butterfly semifinal swimming results ...
The Daily Telegraph reports there has been a series of late entries in the men’s and mixed team relays, forcing the Commonwealth Games to expand the relays program to include heats that will allow more nations to compete.

It means Simpson is suddenly a very real option to swim the butterfly leg in the 4x100m men’s medley relay heats. He was the third fastest in the event at the national championships, but national champion Matt Temple and Chalmers are expected to be rested from the heats before swimming in the final.

Simpson is also being considered for a spot on the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay as a heats swimmer. He was the eighth quickest swimmer in the event at the national championships.

Simpson would receive any medal won by the Aussie relay teams in Birmingham even if he is dropped for the finals.

Australian head coach Rohan Taylor has indicated he wants to pick separate line-ups for the heats and finals in the relays in order to keep his athletes fresh.

His comments will be sweet music to Simpson’s ears.

“The medley relays will be picked on form so it goes down to where he finishes. We will have a heats team and a finals team so there’s an opportunity there for sure,” Taylor said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

“Cody has a really generous, humble personality, always smiling, always encouraging and supporting.

“He’s been fantastic, he’s fitted right in no problems. It’s been really enjoyable having him.”

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