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Cody Simpson Posts Personal Best in Preliminary Olympic Swimming Trial Race

Cody Simpson
Simon Upton

Cody Simpson

Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers and singer Cody Simpson were listed side-by-side in the promotional billing for a documentary series series ahead of Australia’s Olympic swimming trials. On the result lists for the 100-meter freestyle preliminaries Tuesday (June 15), the names were a long way apart.

The 22-year-old Chalmers led qualifying for the night finals in the 100 free with a time of 48.58 seconds. Chalmers is coming off a win in the 200 freestyle on the weekend, his best hit out since surgery on his left shoulder last November. Simpson, who has put his music career on hold while concentrating on swimming at his first Olympic trials, finished 23rd in the rankings among the 92 swimmers in the heats.

Still, his time of 50.22 was a personal best. And his preferred event — the 100 butterfly — is two days away. “I wanted to just get up and do something before the 100 ’fly otherwise I would be waiting around all week,” Simpson said after his first taste of competition at the trials. “Just being around all these athletes ... I love this, I really want to do this for a while.

“My goal this meet would be to try to make that final in the 100 ’fly, that would be nice As long as I’m improving, that’s all I can really ask for.” The 24-year-old Simpson featured this month in the Amazon original series Head Above Water with Ian Thorpe, Australia’s most decorated swimmer and now his mentor, Chalmers and Bronte Campbell.

He cut short a promising junior swimming career when he moved to the U.S. in 2010 to pursue his music, and is now going back the other way. Simpson concedes he probably is a better prospect for the 2024 Olympics. In the women’s 200-meter butterfly, 17-year-old Elizabeth Dekkers was the fastest qualifier for the final in 2 minutes, 08.49 seconds, just outside the Olympic qualifying mark.

In the lead-up to the trials, Simpson dropped his exclusive "The Swimming Sessions" NFTs on Monday, which include four photos documenting his training for his first Olympic trials.