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Singer Cody Simpson has qualified for the 100-meter butterfly final at the Australian Olympic swim trials but will need to vastly improve on his time in Thursday night's final to be considered for the Tokyo Games.
Simpson was in the fast heat to lead off the program. He placed third in his preliminary race in a personal-best time of 52.84 seconds, taking almost a second off his previous mark. It was good enough for a spot in the final behind the fastest qualifier Matt Temple's 51.79.
The Olympic qualifying mark set by Swimming Australia for the event is 51.70, meaning even Temple, who has already qualified in 200 butterfly, will also have to shave some time off his time in the preliminaries. Simpson would need to drop a further 1.14 seconds to be in consideration.
The 24-year-old Simpson was a talented junior who stopped swimming and became a global recording star. He made a serious return to swimming last year after more than a decade on the sidelines. His main target has been the 2024 Paris Olympics.
In the 200-meter women's backstroke, Emily Seebohm beat Australia’s latest world record holder Kaylee McKeown in the qualifying heats. McKeown on Sunday set a world record in the 100 backstroke, with Seebohm placing second to secure selection for her fourth Olympics.
The roles were reversed in 200 heats. Seebohm’s time of 2 minutes, 10.36 seconds was just ahead of McKeown’s 2:10.52.
The Australian swim team for the Tokyo Olympics will be announced after the completion of Thursday's night program.
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