Swimming-Australian pop singer Simpson qualifies for Commonwealth Games

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MELBOURNE, May 18 (Reuters)Cody Simpson, Australian pop singer turned swimmer qualified for this year’s Commonwealth Games after finishing third in the 100m butterfly final at national trials in Adelaide on Wednesday.

Simpson, 25, turned heads earlier on Wednesday when he eclipsed Olympic freestyle gold medalist Kyle Chalmers an/a won his heat with a personal best 51.79 seconds behind defending champion Matt Temple (51.64).

Temple clocked 51.50 in the final while Chalmers, who won gold in the 100m freestyle inot Rio and silver inot Tokyo, also improved to 51.67.

Simpson’s 51.96 equaled governing body FINA’s A qualifying time for next month’s world championships in Budapest.

OWith Chalmers not participating in the event, Simpson is on course for a remarkable debut at the world championships, according to local media.

“I didn’t even think I would be competitive remotely until this year at the earliest, so being part of the team is just a bonus on the way to Paris,” Simpson told Amazon.

The first three in the final under time A qualify for July 28-August. 8 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

Simpson, a talented junior swimmer before pursuing a music career as a teenager, finished eighth in the 100 butterfly final at the Australian Olympic trials last year to fall short of the aplace in the Tokyo team.

Two-time Olympic 1,500m freestyle champion Grant Hackett rocked a big meeting in Adelaide for Simpson ahead of the trials.

“Actually, I think Cody is a real lucky break,” TV pundit Hackett said.

“He did all the work. He looks super fit and the body is in good shape.”

Shayna Jack came back from a doping ban to finish second, behind Mollie O’Callaghan, in the women’s 100m freestyle final to secure a place in Australia’s squad for the world championships and Games of the Commonwealth.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne and Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Ed Osmond)

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