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May 21 22

‘Cleared the air’: Simpson lifts lid on Chalmers conversation after Olympian’s shock backflip

by ZwemZa

Cody Simpson revealed Kyle Chalmers had reached out to clear the air. (Photo by Brenton Edwards / AFP)

Cody Simpson confirmed he had a conversation with Kyle Chalmers and “cleared the air” after the Olympian backflipped on his decision to not compete at the World Championships in Budapest next month and effectively denied Simpson a spot on the plane to Hungary.

Chalmers and Simpson both competed in the 100m butterfly final at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide, with the Chalmers finishing second and Simpson finishing third.

With only two spots up for grabs and Chalmers’ initial decision that he wouldn’t be going to Budapest, it meant that Simpson was all set to represent Australia at the World Championships.

But after the race Chalmers decided he would compete in Hungary after all, slamming the door shut on Simpson’s dream.

Chalmers’ backflip led to rumours flying around that his actions had been fuelled by a supposed love triangle involving himself, Emma McKeon and Simpson given he and McKeon previously dated, but the 23-year-old profusely denied any such notion.

Speaking with the Amazon Prime commentary team, Simpson revealed that he and Chalmers had buried the hatchet, if there was any, as they look to continue driving Australian swimming forward.

“We had a chat last night,” Simpson said.

“He was cool, he sort of reached out and we sort of cleared the air about it. So it’s all good in that sense.

“I would sort of respect his decision either way.”

Simpson also revealed he knew about Chalmers’ Budapest backflip shortly after the 100m butterfly final.

“I sort of realised he’d changed his mind as he has every right to do obviously,” Simpson said.

“He has the spot. I didn’t finish second, I finished third. So for him to have done that (finish second) especially with the limited prep he has had is pretty remarkable.”

With his relative inexperience in swimming compared to some of his other big rivals like Chalmers and Matt Temple, Simpson admits he’s loving the competition between the trio.

“It’s exciting to be a part of something like that,” Simpson said.

“To have been one of those three guys for me is crazy already. I look at those two guys and even up until two days ago I thought, ‘God, they are so far ahead of me. I have so much work to do to even be in the running.”

Alex Conrad | Fox Sports

May 21 22

Alexandri leads Austria to gold at FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final

by ZwemZa

The United States team won gold in the women’s team technical event ©Getty Images

Vasiliki Alexandri has led Austria to a gold medal on the opening day of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final in Athens in Greece.

The Austrian scored 86.9450 in the women’s solo technical to better the United States’ Anita Alvarez’s 84.6848 and Germany’s Marlene Bojer’s 80.0743.

In the men’s solo technical, Fernando Diaz Del Rio Soto of Spain stood on top of the podium once again.

He tallied 77.9618 to jump ahead of the United States Kenneth Gaudet and Kazakhstan’s Eduard Kim in the standings.

Gaudet totalled 74.8963 while Kim recorded 74.8478.

The US won the final gold of the day in the women’s team technical.

The Americans united to score 86.1525 which was superior to Israel’s 83.4367 and Kazakhstan’s 79.2041.

The FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final is scheduled to stage its second day tomorrow.

May 21 22

Titmus not making world champs switch despite impressive form

by ZwemZa

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Swimming – Women’s 800m Freestyle – Final- Tokyo Aquatics Centre – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Ariarne Titmus of Australia in action REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Double Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus has no plans to reverse her decision not to compete at this year’s world championships, despite going close to breaking Federica Pellegrini’s world record in the 200m freestyle on Friday.

Titmus finished 0.33 seconds short of the long-standing mark when she won over the distance at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide in her first competitive swim since the Olympic Games last August.

Her time of 1 minute 53.31 seconds was her fastest in the event and eclipsed the performance that won her gold at the distance in Tokyo.

Despite her impressive swim, the Australian will remain focused on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July and August in an attempt to avoid burning out ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

“I definitely didn’t think I’d be swimming as fast as I am now,” Titmus said.

“Initially, I didn’t want to go to worlds because I didn’t think I’d be ready to be mentally at that level to deal with the pressure again.

“I’ll have another month at home and just keep training through. The decision was for Paris, to make sure I didn’t have a stacked year again. So I’m sticking with that decision.”

Pellegrini’s world record in the event has stood since the 2009 world championships in Rome and was achieved during the supersuit era, when the use of polyurethane and neoprene swimwear saw times tumble.

Titmus’s performance is the closest any swimmer has come to the mark since the suits were banned. The 21-year-old was delighted with her effort.

“I’m pretty happy with the swim. I didn’t get back into proper training until December,” said Titmus.

“I’m doing things in training that are better than before the Olympics; some things aren’t there, but some are better.

“It’s one of the more challenging world records. Her (Pellegrini’s) back end in that race was insane. I think she had three suits on or something.

“To even be anywhere near that, I’m happy. It’s not even 12 months since the Olympics and I swam faster there than I did to win the gold medal.”

Reuters

May 20 22

All fair in love, war and swimming as Chalmers stands firm

by ZwemZa

Kyle Chalmers Credit:Getty

Kyle Chalmers is no villain and doesn’t need to apologise for anything. If he wants to swim at the FINA World Championships, he should swim at the FINA World Championships. He’s earned the right to get a little latitude in his schedule.

But neither is Cody Simpson, whose place in the Dolphins squad is at risk if Chalmers now decides to forge ahead with a revised plan to swim in Budapest ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in late July. Luckily, there is room for more than one good news story in Australian swimming.

Things have become a little animated at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide, where swimmers are competing for spots on two different, yet overlapping teams. A smaller squad will head to the World Championships in June, then a larger contingent will take to the water at the Commonwealth Games.

When Simpson finished third in the 100m butterfly on night one, it looked for all money like his bold plan to return to swimming after a 10-year absence to pursue music had borne fruit. Matt Temple won the race and with second-place Chalmers at that point sitting out the World Championships, he was as good as on the plane.

But that swim triggered something in Chalmers, the 100m freestyle champion in Rio and silver medallist in Tokyo. His flirtation with butterfly, his first love in the pool, had progressed much further than he thought in a much shorter time.

When he cleaned up the field in the 50m fly the following night, the seed had sprouted. Over coming days, he said, he would consult with coach Peter Bishop and decide whether to add his name to the World Championship program.

By that point, Simpson’s story had been everywhere. He brings a celebrity-crossover appeal to the sport and knows how to sell himself and his story. No matter how you slice it, he’s been brilliant for swimming, with his millions of social media followers coming along for the ride.

But the only numbers that matter in racing are times. And on that front, Chalmers has him covered. As the Adelaide native said on Thursday night, it’s a cut-throat business, meaning Simpson remains in the running for Commonwealth Games but will miss a worlds spot if Chalmers takes a seat.

Underpinning it all is the ‘love triangle’ that has seen Australian swimming get a start in both the sport and gossip pages. Simpson is dating Tokyo Olympics superstar Emma McKeon, who reportedly used to date Chalmers.

Chalmers has savaged the idea that his decision is all part of an elaborate get-square with Simpson, who has commanded the lion’s share of attention at the trials, along with the world record swim of Zac Stubblety-Cook.

“It’s hugely pathetic. It’s the biggest joke I’ve ever heard to be honest with you,” Chalmers told 2Day FM. “Unfortunately, I’m the one who has to stand up and apologise and be made out to be the villain when all I’ve done is given everything to my sport over this last eight-year period in the Australian swimming team.”

Chalmers seems to feel like he hasn’t been given the recognition he deserves for his service in the green and gold, which is a shame, because he’s one of the greatest swimmers this nation has ever produced. To win gold at just 17, then almost go back-to-back in Tokyo, is an incredible feat. He’s not done yet.

But there’s space for Simpson’s narrative, as well, and that of Temple, the forgotten man in all of this, a former scaffolder turned Olympic finalist who is now the nation’s finest male butterfly swimmer.

Any publicity is good publicity for a sport that has so much to give but often underwhelms when it comes to telling its own stories. Funnily enough, Chalmers, now a confident and insightful media performer, and Simpson, a natural before the cameras, are two of their biggest attractions.

Teams and squads are never perfect and often succeed despite personal differences among their members. This will be no different as the Australians prepare to head overseas and continue their imposing form from Tokyo.

By Phil Lutton | The Sydney Morning Herald

May 20 22

‘I was a shell of a man’: Chad le Clos on trauma, Michael Phelps, and finding a new purpose

by ZwemZa

Chad le Clos is finding his feet again in 2022, after what he calls the worst year of his life in 2021, where depression was his constant companion, even during the Tokyo Olympics. Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto/LightRocket via Getty Images

South African Olympic champion swimmer Chad le Clos said earlier this month that 2021 was the worst year of his life, when a traumatic event, which he won’t reveal the details of, sent him spiralling into the darkest place he’s ever been.

Le Clos told local publication New Frame that a singular incident that happened to him in January last year was “worse than my parents having cancer” and affected his entire year, including a poor performance at the Tokyo Olympics, where he failed to reach the final of the 100m butterfly, and came 5th in the 200m.

Now, 18 months later and thanks to continued therapy, both from a sports perspective and personally, and help from friends like American swimmer Tom Shields, Le Clos says he is feeling nearly back to his old self. That is, the guy that beat Michael Phelps to butterfly gold at London 2012.

Le Clos spoke to ESPN about his long year of mental health recovery, the importance of seeking help, his ‘rivalry’ with Phelps, and how he still wants to be, and beat, the best in the pool.

ESPN: Were you correctly quoted in the New Frame piece when they wrote that you had described what happened to you as worse than your parents having cancer? [Both Chad’s parents had cancer during the buildup to the 2016 Olympics]

Le Clos: Absolutely. It [the incident] was worse for them too. I’ve never been a guy that makes excuses. Unfortunately, something happened to me last year and it was the worst seven or eight months of my life from January onwards. It was just a tough time because it was completely outside of swimming, and it was something that I didn’t realise that I was battling.

[Even though] I was in the hole, I didn’t realise I was in the hole. You know what I mean? I was dealing with a lot of different stuff. Obviously, COVID didn’t help. Preparation [for Tokyo] wasn’t aided by that because we didn’t have a lot of facilities to train. Nothing was going right in my life.

This thing that was hanging was there, it was very difficult to manage and deal with. Thankfully, everybody’s good and I’ve got my health back and I’m happy to be here speaking in a positive frame of mind. That’s the main thing.

ESPN: Will come a time when you will be able to share the story with your fans?

Le Clos: I don’t know. Right now, it’s definitely to my very close [circle]. My friends don’t know about this. It’s only really family or people who I consider family. It was a very hard time. I’m speaking to you from a place of good mental health and I’m happy and in a good place. Last year, I was not the same Chad le Clos that I am today.

I only realised that last year right after the Olympics, in September or October. That’s when I was in my darkest place and I couldn’t really be alone, you know. I didn’t really know what depression was because I’m not a depressed kind of guy; I’m a happy guy. I’m a positive person – I think I am, right?

Looking back, I was just a shell of a man, even at the Olympic Games. I’m a very positive person and I wasn’t able to tap into that. When I walk out for an Olympic final, I’m ready to go, I’m ready to die [to win]. [In Tokyo] I’m walking out there and I’ve got no nerves. I’m walking out there and I’m not feeling anything — zero, nothing. It just felt numb. Maybe the fans didn’t help — there were no fans in the stands — but there was no gees [spirit, or energy in Afrikaans].

To be honest with you, my dad begged me for months to speak to someone. I never spoke to anyone — the first time I spoke to anyone was September last year, so I went through this all by myself. My dad, my mom, my family — obviously, [I was] sharing [with them] and stuff like that, but it wasn’t the same. You have to get professional help. I’m a professional athlete, right? Even if I wasn’t, it’s something that I’d recommend for everybody.

ESPN: Yeah, it’s like, I can’t coach you swimming. You need a professional swimming coach and you need a professional therapist.

Le Clos: It’s so important. I felt myself being super lonely, super down on myself, and super sad. I usually play PlayStation to escape from the world. That would be my escape and I’d be happy for those moments. But I couldn’t enjoy PlayStation for a whole year. I couldn’t enjoy anything, because I felt that something sucked out all the happiness in me.

I was just sad all the time, you know? I started having really bad thoughts and I was like: “S—, man, this is not good.” That’s when the penny dropped and I went to seek some help after months of my dad begging me. The one time I never listened to him, that’s what happens.

ESPN: Are you able to shed light on some what you’ve learned in therapy that may have helped you earlier in your life, had you known it?

Le Clos: The main thing for me was realising that just being able to talk to someone that’s not your family or your friends helps a lot. Just being there [in therapy] every two or three days.

When I first started talking to someone, I had a couple of things I needed explained to me, like: You have a valley, right? Every day, you have a little bit of pebbles that go inside — just daily stress, girlfriend, boyfriend, family stuff, whatever it is, work. Every now and then, you get a little stone. Maybe once every couple of months, you get a boulder or two.

What he said with me was: “Your valley just got full. You have too many boulders and once it overflows, you start to think with the emotional side of your brain, not the logical side.” I kind of understood that very quickly and realised that’s what happened. You don’t realise you’re going to a dark place until you’re in it.

I think it’s very, very important to take the first step. [Now I see] a sports psychologist every two weeks, just for a touch-up. I’m really good where I’m at right now, thankfully.

ESPN: Had you seen sports psychologists before, throughout your career?

Le Clos: Not really. The first sports psychologist I spoke to was after the [Rio 2016] Olympics. I never really wanted to. I felt like I was weak for talking to a sports psychologist, but then I realised very quickly how he actually benefitted me through the back end of 2016, where things also, funnily enough, weren’t in the best place. It seems to happen to me in Olympic years…

South Africa’s Chad le Clos finished fifth in the men’s 200m butterfly final at the Tokyo Games. Clive Rose/Getty Images

ESPN: Do you look back on your rivalry with Michael Phelps differently at all, and maybe with a different perspective on why things worked out the way they did [in Rio], with more understanding of Phelps [given his own struggles with depression]?

Le Clos: Absolutely. Just to set the record straight: I never had any problem with Michael Phelps. He was a huge inspiration. I loved the guy, worshipped the guy, growing up. We had a rivalry, absolutely. Things got said in the media that shouldn’t have been. They were very, very twisted. He and I maybe never saw eye-to-eye for a small amount of times, but as a competitor and an athlete, I can only say good things about him as a warrior.

I didn’t know that he was going through the struggles that he went through. I do think that our struggles were completely different. I think his came from different circumstances, and so did mine.

But absolutely, I look at them in a different perspective and think: ‘Things may not have been as they seemed back in the day,’ now that I’ve experienced certain issues, but I still believe everyone’s story is different.

ESPN: Did you guys ever have a conversation about it, or did you move past it without ever mentioning it?

Le Clos: Sport, for me, has never been personal. I will always want to beat Phelps. He will always want to beat me. That’s just how it’s going to always be. I’m always going to want to beat Caeleb Dressel, Kristóf Milák.

László Cseh is a perfect example of that. When he beat me in 2015 — the first time I’d lost since London at 200m fly — me and László have been friends for a long time. He’s a legend, also a huge inspiration to me. After that race, we invited him for dinner and he couldn’t believe it. He even said: ‘I was shocked. I thought we wouldn’t be friends because I beat you.’ I said: ‘Brother, you can beat me forever. You will always be my friend, it doesn’t change anything. When I get on the block, I want to kill you, I want to beat you, but it’s nothing personal. I trust that whether you win or I win, it’s just sport.’

With Phelps, I think things get said out of place. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete. I’m a sportsman first. I will shake anybody’s hand regardless of what has happened, whatever has been said. There’s nothing that was said that was too personal, I believe. You’re going to have to ask Phelps how he feels, but from my side, I always will respect him tremendously and I’ll always look up to him.

ESPN: Do you feel that your priorities in life have changed as a result of what you’ve been through?

Le Clos: Absolutely. I’ve got a different respect for mental health now and a different understanding. [US swimmer] Tom Shields, my buddy, he wouldn’t mind me saying this, I’m sure, but he had his part with depression and mental health issues.

His wife [Gianna Shields] — we’re all very good friends — she saw me and she was like: ‘Something’s wrong with Chad. He’s depressed.’ This is what he told me. When he said that to me, I was like: ‘Mate, come on. I’m fine bro!’ Eventually, I opened up to him — well, not really opened up to him about what happened, but I opened up that I was in a really bad place and I really thank him for that.

Every decision I made was wrong. My space senses were completely off. Usually, my instincts are really good in sport and life. If I was supposed to go right, I went left. If I was supposed to go straight, I went back. You know what I mean? I think it’s important to remember that these things happen to people on a daily basis and you have to get help.

Unfortunately for me, the spotlight was on me. It was the ‘biggest moment of my life’. Olympic Games, right? I had the weight of the nation on my shoulders, the spotlight, the pressure, and I’m going through all these demons. At the end of the day, people don’t care, right? When the history books are written, they’re going to say Chad came fifth at the Olympics. He got gold in London, second in Rio, fifth in Tokyo, right? In 20 years’ time, they’re not going to say that this [trauma] is what happened, so you feel alone, because it’s all or nothing unfortunately.

ESPN: Was there a specific moment or technique that started your recovery?

Le Clos: Honestly, I was low for so long, from January ’til January, then I started coming right. I was at the World Championships in Dubai in December last year. I hadn’t properly trained since May. I’ve got this knee injury on the daily and I’m sitting in Dubai in a world of pain. I say to my dad: ‘Dad, I think I have to come home’. He says: ‘Son, I’m booking you a flight now.’ He books me a flight home and I promise you this, I don’t know if it’s a sign, but I go on Instagram and I see the medal count for short course worlds and I see Ryan Lochte [24] medals, right? I see Chad le Clos on 16, 17, 18, right? I go: ‘Am I only six behind Ryan Lochte? Oh my God. I know I’m in a bad spot, but if I pick up a bronze medal next week or in two weeks’ time, that’s going to help me one day…’

Chad le Clos’ next goal is to overtake Ryan Lochte as the world’s most decorated short course swimmer. Francois Nel/Getty Images

That’s the only reason I stayed. I saw that and thought: ‘I’ve always wanted to leave a legacy.’ That’s when I started to think: ‘I’m five medals away from being the greatest short-course swimmer in history. That’s it!’ I went there. I got a bronze, I got a silver, I nearly won the 100 fly. I was 0.16 [seconds] off being world champion in my darkest place and I was so proud of myself for kind of pushing through that moment, but if that Instagram feed never came through, I was actually on the flight the next day.

I’m actually smiling now to think when I get to finally say I have the most medals at short course history, I’m going to go back to that moment and remember I nearly went home but I didn’t.

ESPN: So now, when you have a really dark day, what is the number one thing you would remind yourself of?

Le Clos: My dad said to me after 2016, because I was absolutely down in 2016 when I got two silvers and I came fourth in the 200 fly, “Chad, would you rather have had mom die of cancer this year or would you rather have had two Olympic golds?” I said: “I’d give you all my Olympic medals back to give my mom another chance.'”It puts things into perspective, right? Health and family always come first.

I’m always going to be a fighter; I’m always going to try my best to be the best I can be, but at the end of the day, [in] sport, you’re always going to win or lose. I’m still going to have my family, I’m still going to have my friends, I’m still going to have the people that actually care about me, whether I win or lose. That’s what’s important to me, because at the end of the day, there’s a lot of people that are there for the good times and the minute you don’t win or the minute things go wrong, they’re not there. That’s when you know who they are.

I definitely have a different respect and different perspective on life after going through everything. It’s made me realise that there are bigger things to life than even your job, right? This happens to people on a daily basis. Just seek help

By Leonard Solms | Special to ESPN

May 20 22

Shayna Jack controversy would have broken other swimmers, says Giaan Rooney

by ZwemZa

Shayna Jack. (Getty)

Australian swimming great Giaan Rooney said she may have quit swimming if faced with the same circumstances that confronted Shayna Jack.

Jack has the chance to seal a return to the Australian squad tonight, when she lines up in the 100 metres freestyle at the national championships in Adelaide, which doubles as the selection trials for both the world championships and Commonwealth Games.

Her heat time of 53.27 seconds was the equal second quickest of the eight qualifiers for the final.

The 23-year-old was banned for two-years after testing positive to the drug Ligandrol in an out-of-competition test in 2019. She maintained that she unknowingly ingested the drug and “would never intentionally take a banned substance that would disrespect my sport and jeopardise my career.”

Rooney, who is covering the championships for Amazon Prime Video, says the hurdles Jack has overcome are extraordinary.

“I can honestly say, if that had happened to me, I don’t think I would be lining up to swim again,” she told Wide World of Sports.

“I am so excited to see her race, my respect levels for her had always been sky high, given the way she handled herself during the whole controversy.

“Hearing her talk about the toll it took on her, and her family and loved ones, let alone financially, and the implications of what was being said about her, she never once said she wouldn’t swim again.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever come across an athlete like that, with the determination and strength of character.”

Rooney, a gold medallist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, pointed out that the two-year ban will have taken a toll.

“The mental challenge is probably more difficult than the physical challenge, and it can’t be underestimated,” she explained.

“For Shayna, the mental challenge was so tough, not only having to defend yourself against those allegations, and I absolutely believe she had no knowledge of those substances entering her system.

“To try and prove your innocence, to come up against international media and condemnation, to have people think you’re guilty and just another drug cheat, to not being able to train with your squad, I don’t think a lot of people understand how hard that is.

“Swimming is an individual sport, but I couldn’t have done it without my squad. If I was rocking up to training and the rest of the squad didn’t show up, I’d almost pack my bags and go home. It’s so hard to do it on your own, yet that’s what she’s had to do.”

Another swimming legend, Grant Hackett, told Wide World of Sports the time away from competition was “brutal.”

“I can’t imagine what it would be like to be benched for more than two years in the middle of your career,” he said.

“It’s certainly a setback, and it would make you question whether or not you want to be in the sport. The emotional roller coaster over that period, it would have been very, very difficult.

“There’s probably a sense of relief, and also a desire to prove herself as one of our top athletes.”

By Brett Graham | 9 Wide World of Sports

May 20 22

Athens set to stage FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final

by ZwemZa


The United States have won the most gold medals during the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series ©Getty Images

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final is set to be held in the Greek capital of Athens with it planned to be the final competition in the discipline before the World Championships next month.

This year’s three-day Super Final is open to all National Federations due to the reduced number of events held.

Just three legs of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series have been staged, which is one less than scheduled.

The event planned in Kazan in Russia was cancelled after FINA imposed sanctions on the country in retaliation to the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian and Belarusian swimmers were originally allowed to compete under the banner of the Independent FINA Athletes but has since been prohibited from being able to compete from all FINA events until the end of the year.

The United States enter the final as the most-successful team from the three legs with eight golds and three silvers.

Megumi Field and Natalia Vega are two of America’s star performers having won every women’s duet free event.

Spain are slightly behind having won six golds, three silvers and one bronze across the events.

Fernando Díaz del Río Soto was responsible for claiming back-to-back golds in the men’s solo free discipline.

Action is scheduled to begin tomorrow with the women’s solo technical, men’s solo technical and the women’s team technical at the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Sports Complex of Athens.

Saturday (May 21) is due to see the men’s solo free, women’s solo free, women’s duet technical, mixed duet technical and women’s team free take centre stage.

The women’s duet free, mixed duet free, mixed team highlight, and mixed team combination are expected to be held on Sunday (May 22) – the final day of the competition.

The Super Final represents the final leg of this year’s world series

May 20 22

Kyle Chalmers slams ‘pathetic’ Cody Simpson love triangle rumour

by ZwemZa

Cody Simpson is rumored to be dating Emma McKeon, Kyle Chalmers’ ex.

Kyle Chalmers is set to crush Cody Simpson’s dream of swimming for Australia but denies the extraordinary situation has anything to do with a potential love triangle involving Aussie queen of the pool Emma McKeon.

Chalmers, 23, was romantically linked to McKeon, 27, in September last year.

But it was reported last week Simpson and McKeon — who became a household name by winning four gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics — have been seeing each other on the Gold Coast.

Chalmers found himself in a unique position this week when Simpson’s lifelong dream of making the national team was suddenly placed in his hands at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide.

After a 10-year absence from the sport while he became a global pop icon, Simpson appeared to have booked his ticket to next month’s world championships in Budapest in the 100m butterfly.

He finished third with a time of 51.96 but was expected to claim the second spot on the team in the event behind winner Matt Temple because Chalmers, who finished second in the final, wasn’t expected to include the event in his busy program.

But that flipped on Thursday night when Chalmers appeared to have a change of heart. Speaking to Amazon Prime Video after Thursday evening’s 50m butterfly final, Chalmers virtually confirmed he would join the Australian team at the world championships, meaning Simpson misses out.

Speaking to 2Day FM’s Hughesy, Ed & Erin on Friday morning, Chalmers had a firm response when asked by Erin Molan if his decision had anything to do with Simpson dating McKeon.

“It’s hugely pathetic. It’s the biggest joke I’ve ever heard to be honest with you,” Chalmers said.

“I started out a butterflyer. I’ve wanted to be a butterflyer my whole career, my body just hasn’t allowed me to.

“For me being able to just swim butterfly is so special and something I’m so proud of … to be able to go back to the event I grew up loving and doing is all the motivation I need.

“Unfortunately I’m the one who has to stand up and apologise and be made out to be the villain when all I’ve done is given everything to my sport and given everything to my country over this last eight-year period I’ve been in the Australian swimming team.”

Cody Simpson and Emma McKeon leave a training session on the Gold Coast on May 4, 2022. Picture: Backgrid

Simpson, who has been linked to a string of high-profile women including Miley Cyrus, Kylie Jenner and Gigi Hadid, and 11-time Olympic medallist McKeon are said to be “completely smitten” with each other, per The Daily Telegraph.

They’ve been spotted numerous times out and about on the Glitter Strip and travelling to training together each morning.

“They are absolutely together,” one swimming insider told The Daily Telegraph. “There is no doubt they are an item. They are training together under (coach) Michael Bohl and have fallen for one another.”

It seems their families approve, with Simpson’s younger sister Alli, mother Angie and father Brad all now following McKeon on Instagram.

There have been no reports about how Chalmers’ fling with McKeon ended.

Asked on Thursday night if Simpson had crossed his mind while making the decision to possibly swim the 100m butterly in Budapest, Chalmers bluntly replied: “No.”

“There’s six other guys in the race as well that are disappointed, right? For me, swimming is a cutthroat sport,” he continued.

Olympic swimming champion Emma McKeon. Picture: Toby Zerna

“You’ve got to finish in the top two to get the individual spot, and unfortunately I — well, not unfortunately, it’s my dream. It’s my dream to be a butterflier, I started out as a butterflier and I’ve always hoped to do butterfly.

“My body hasn’t allowed me as much to this point, so that’s nice, my body’s finally going OK. Like I said I want to swim it (the 100m butterfly) in Paris, so I’ve got to start practising and getting myself ready to do that.

“So for me, it’s not come into my mind at all. It comes into my mind like David Morgan for example, he’s been on the team for such a long period of time. Does it destroy his dream? It’s not something you take into account in an individual sport, unfortunately.”

Speaking to reporters after the race, Chalmers explained that he would make a final decision in the next couple of days after consulting his coach.

“Personally I think (going to worlds) is going to be the best thing for me personally moving forward,” Chalmers said.

“You can’t make me out to be the villain. Yeah, it’s unfortunate that it probably takes Cody’s spot away but it also takes away five other guys’ (places) who were in the race. It’s not just Cody.

“I think the hard thing is my training buddy Matt Temple is the Australian record holder who won his back to back title last night. There is no attention or hype around him which is for me what I struggle the most with. It’s great there is eyes on me and Cody. The eyes deserve to be on Matt Temple.”

Chalmers also posted a lengthy explanation on Instagram about his situation on Thursday night.

“Just wanting to clear the air and also keep this short. 7 weeks ago, I was not swimming and had no intentions of swimming this season if ever again. I needed too find myself away from the pool and find my love and enjoyment for swimming again,” Chalmers wrote.

“For me getting back in the pool, changing the stimulation and swimming some butterfly which I grew up doing helped me find that passion again! I’ve dreamed of being a butterflyer and racing it internationally my whole career, my body has just never allowed me to do so (it’s nice too finally have earned that opportunity).

“I can be made out to be the villain but just like everyone who stands behind the blocks I want to win and represent my country at the highest level. For me this is an exciting new chapter I’m about to embark on, that’ll keep me motivated, hungry and stimulated to be the best I can possibly be.

“I could continue on, but I just want to say a massive shoutout to the people who have stuck by me and been in my corner through this process. It really has not been easy for me physically, mentally and emotionally. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and have refined who I am as a person, what I want in life and who I want in my life.

“I hope I can continue to make you all proud in and out of the pool. It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important too be nice.”

Regardless of whether or not Chalmers decides to go to the world championships, Simpson will likely still get to swim the 100m butterfly at the Commonwealth Games, where Australia is allowed to take three swimmers for each individual event.

Simpson will now have to wait until the end of the week for his selection to be resolved when the team is announced.

“That’s a dream come true,” he said after Wednesday’s race, while initially thinking his spot had been secured.

“I had a great swim this morning, so much progress from last year. I’ve just been busting my arse all year so it’s amazing to see results like this pay off. I was hoping to go a little quicker tonight but to scrape under is a real dream.

“I had no idea it was going to happen this meet so I’m through the roof.

“I only started training a little under two years after 10-11 years out of the water. I didn’t think I’d be remotely competitive, racing this year at the earliest. To potentially make a team already is just a bonus on the way to (the) Paris (Olympics).”

News.com.au

May 20 22

Aussie star Kyle Chalmers considering option to destroy Cody Simpson’s dream

by ZwemZa

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 18: Kyle Chalmers catches his breath after cmpeting in the Mens 100 metre Butterfly during day one of the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships at SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre on May 18, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Aussie Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers says he is reconsidering his decision not to compete in the butterfly at the World Championships next month.

The South Australian “superfish” dropped a bomb on Thursday that has the potential to kill pop star Cody Simpson’s dream of competing at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Simpson appeared to have booked his ticket to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and a spot on the Aussie team for the world championships when he finished third in Wednesday night’s men’s 100m butterfly final at the Australian Swimming Championships.

His time of 51.96 seconds was enough to qualify for the Birmingham Games after swimming a personal best of 51.79 in the heats.

Australian record holder Matthew Temple won the race in 51.50, while Olympic 100m freestyle champion Chalmers was second in 51.67.

With Australia only able to have two entries in the 100m butterfly event in Budapest, Chalmers has the power to kick Simpson off the team

The 23-year-old has previously said he would skip the butterfly because of his already busy program.

However, he now says he is considering a backflip.

“I’ve been back in the pool seven weeks now, I had no expectations on making the Worlds team, especially in butterfly,” Chalmers told swimswam.com.

“So am now weighing up what’s going to be best for me and my preparations for Paris. (My) shoulders are feeling good, mind is feeling good, so wouldn’t mind being a part of the team.”

Chalmers’ new statement comes after Australian swimming head coach Rohan Taylor confirmed pre-race that if Simpson finished third and made the qualifying time, he would make the team for the world championships.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 18: Cody Simpson of Australia catches his breath after finishing third in the Mens 100 Metre Butterfly Final during day one of the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships at SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre on May 18, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Chalmers entered the butterfly events at the Aussie championships, despite having never won an Olympic or Commonwealth Games medal in butterfly.

Chalmers heads into Thursday night’s final of the 50m butterfly as the fastest qualifier. Simpson was the fifth fastest qualifier on Thursday morning.

The extraordinary situation is further clouded by reports Simpson is now in a relationship with Aussie Olympic icon Emma McKeon.

News Corp reported last week Simpson and McKeon have been seeing each other on the Gold Coast.

McKeon and Chalmers have previously been romantically linked and reports first emerged in September that they were dating.

Simpson meanwhile will have to wait until the end of the week for his Commonwealth Games selection to be confirmed when the team is announced.

“That’s a dream come true,” Simpson said after his race on Wednesday night.

“I had a great swim this morning, so much progress from last year. I’ve just been busting my arse all year so it’s amazing to see results like this pay off. I was hoping to go a little quicker tonight but to scrape under is a real dream.

“I had no idea it was going to happen this meet so I’m through the roof.

“I only started training a little under two years after 10-11 years out of the water. I didn’t think I’d be remotely competitive, racing this year at the earliest. To potentially make a team already is just a bonus on the way to Paris.”

By Tyson Otto | New.com.au

 

May 20 22

Shayna Jack: Australian swimmer thought about quitting after drugs ban

by ZwemZa

Shayna Jack has qualified for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham after returning from a ban

Australian Shayna Jack said she thought about quitting before returning to the pool after a drugs ban and qualifying for the Commonwealth Games.

Jack, now 23, was banned for four years after testing positive for muscle growth agent ligandrol in June 2019.

Her suspension was halved on appeal and she qualified for Birmingham 2022 after finishing second in the 100m freestyle at the Australian championships.

“I think I proved my point,” said Jack, who burst into tears in the pool.

“But I will continue to fight back and do what I do best, which is racing, all the way through to Paris [2024 Olympics].

“I just wanted to be here and stand behind those blocks with my head held high and swim my race.

“I had so many emotions going through my body and I’m just glad to touch in that time and get myself back on the team.”

Jack has always pleaded her innocence and claimed not to have taken the drug intentionally.

Sport Integrity Australia, the country’s anti-doping authority, fought to have the full ban reinstated but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) threw out its challenge last September.

“I wanted to quit, I wanted to move on and just give it all up,” Jack told Amazon Prime.

“I guess the only reason I didn’t was because the people who knew my goals and my dreams reminded me that I shouldn’t, and I should fight to the end and prove everyone wrong.”

Stubblety-Cook breaks men’s 200m breaststroke world record

Zac Stubblety-Cook is the only Australian to hold a current men’s swimming long-course world record

Olympic 200m breaststroke champion Zac Stubblety-Cook set a world record in the event on his way to the Australian national title at the trials.

The 23-year-old posted a blistering time of two minutes 05.95 seconds to beat the mark of 2:06.12 set by Russian Anton Chupkov at the 2019 World Championships.

“I was just trying to swim fast – I didn’t think that fast. I can’t really believe it, to be honest,” he said.

Stubblety-Cook broke the Olympic record for the event to win gold at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Britain’s Adam Peaty holds the breaststroke world records in the 50m and 100m.

BBC Sport

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