Simpson eyes encore after missing cut at Olympic swim trials

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ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Pop singer Cody Simpson finished last in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Australian Olympic swimming trials on Thursday, but he was trying to focus on the bigger picture.

He's not going to Tokyo but says making the final was still a victory.

“To be in that final, that is my achievement for this year, that is my gold medal at least for 2021,” Simpson said. “I didn’t expect to be remotely competitive until 2022-23 at the earliest.”

Simpson was a talented junior swimmer who put aside his sporting exploits to move into the American music market, and he succeeded.

The 24-year-old Simpson resumed swimming last year, with a plan to make Australia’s team for the Paris Olympics in 2024. He had two personal best swims at the Adelaide trials, in the 100 butterfly and the 100 freestyle.

“The cool thing about my swimming is I don’t even know what my best event is yet," he said. “I just chose the 100 ‘fly because it was all I had time to race and prepare for this year.”

Although Simpson's name was missing from the 35-person team named for Tokyo at the end of the trial's final night Thursday, there were plenty of names with gold medal credentials to compete in Japan next month.

Emily Seebohm and Cate Campbell joined Leisel Jones as the only Australian swimmers to make four Olympics, with the team also including three athletes named to their third Olympics, nine to their second and 21 to their first team.

Kaylee McKeown came close to setting another world record on Thursday night. The 19-year-old was on pace for her second world mark of the trials in the 200-meter backstroke final.

Five days after setting a world mark in the 100 backstroke, McKeown faded in the final 15 meters of the 200, though she still won. Seebohm was second.

Emma McKeon continued her freestyle dominance, winning the women’s 50-meter freestyle by 0.01 seconds from Campbell. McKeon also won the 100 and 200 freestyles this week and 100 butterfly.

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