Swimming-Pop singer Simpson outclasses Chalmers at Australian trials

MELBOURNE, May 18 (Reuters)Australian pop singer-turned-swimmer Cody Simpson is on course for a remarkable debut at the world championships after eclipsing Olympic freestyle gold medalist Kyle Chalmers at the national trials in Adelaide on Wednesday.

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

Chalmers, who won gold in the 100m freestyle in Rio and silver in Tokyo, was third fastest.

Simpson’s run was well short of FINA’s 51.96 ‘A’ qualifying time for next month’s world championships in Budapest.

The top three in the final under “A” time also qualify for the Commonwealth Games from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham.

Simpson, a talented junior swimmer before pursuing a music career as a teenager, finished eighth in the 100m butterfly final at the Australian Olympic trials last year, missing out on a place in the Tokyo squad.

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

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

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

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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