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Shayna Jack makes Australian Commonwealth Games swim team, pop star Cody Simpson also qualifies

Queensland swimmer Shayna Jack capped off her comeback from drug prohibition by finishing second in the women’s 100m freestyle at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide.

Most important points:

Jack’s doping ban forced her to miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Last year she returned to training with Dean BoxallOlympic champions Emma McKeon and Kate Campbell did not compete for a spot on the team.

Her second place in a personal best guarantees her selection for the Australian team for the World Championships in Budapest in June and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July.

The race was won by Mollie O’Callaghan, who set the world’s fastest time this year at 52.49 seconds.

It is the first time Jack has made an Australian team since she ended her two-year suspension in 2019 for taking a small amount of the banned drug Ligandrol.

Jack protested her innocence, but after several lawsuits, she had to postpone the sport and miss last year’s Olympics.

Jack last competed in Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, winning a gold relay medal.

“I am overwhelmed with emotion to be back on the team,” said Jack as she fought back the tears.

“Not many people know what I’ve been through — you know the depths of it, and to be back and wear those colors again means more to me than anything.

“My goal was to love swimming and fall in love with it again, and I’m proud to be back.

“A lot of times I thought maybe I wouldn’t get to this point – not just because of the whole thing and all of course – but I struggled; I lost touch with why I like swimming and why I did swim.

Shayna Jack

“It’s still a journey. I’m still learning and doing things and working with psychologists with all those things, and that’s been very beneficial with my comeback.”

Shayna Jack’s second place in the 100 meters free places her automatically in the Australian team. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

Jack’s 52.60 was the second fastest in the world this year, behind O’Callaghan.

“To be quite honest, I’m stronger, and I’m fitter and faster than ever, which I just proved, and this is just the beginning for me,” she said.

O’Callaghan and Jack’s achievements highlight the continued strength of Australian women’s sprinting.

Emma McKeon, who won four gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, is sitting out these swimming championships, as are Kate Campbell, who has won 7 national championships, and her sister Bronte.

But both O’Callaghan and Jack, Meg Harris, who finished third, and Madison Wilson, who took fourth in world-class times, showed that Australia would field a formidable relay team at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

“We are a weapon to be afraid of, and I can’t wait to see what we can do best at the World Cup,” said Jack.

That team will be further strengthened when McKeon returns for the Commonwealth Games.

O’Callaghan said she was surprised with her beautiful dive – a personal best after setting another personal best on the morning hits.

“I think it was just more nerves and stuff, and I kind of doubt myself sometimes, but yeah, I’m really surprised it was such a big jump,” said the 18-year-old.

Pop star Cody Simpson joins the Dolphins.

Cody Simpson couldn’t match his time from the heats on Wednesday’s final. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

Pop singer and actor Cody Simpson gave himself a shot at being selected for the Australian team at the World Championships by finishing third in the men’s 100m butterfly.

Tokyo double bronze medalist Matthew Temple won the event in 51.50 seconds.

Olympic 100-meter freestyle gold and silver medalist Kyle Chalmers came in second.

Chalmers will return to swimming after shoulder surgery but has said he will not compete in the World Championships, opening the door to Simpson’s roster.

“It’s pretty unreal to get on a podium in a national competition,” Simpson said after noting 51.96, equivalent to the FINA qualifying mark.

Simpson returned to his junior sport in 2020 after building a stellar career as a singer and actor.

“I just put in a lot of hours all year to make some progress, and I didn’t expect so much progress so soon,” he said.

He said making the Australian team would mean everything because his mother, Angie, also swam to Australia.

“As a little boy, I was told I would like to swim to Australia too, and then I was sidelined for the better part of ten years,” he said.

Cody Simpson finished third in a men’s 100m butterfly final. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

That “sidetrack” made him an international pop star in his teens, landed modeling contracts, and appeared in a Broadway musical.

He said his “other career” as a pop singer was “on the back burner for now”.

“I mean, I released an album a few months ago; it’s still something I love to do.

“Ian Thorpe always said to me, ‘If you stop playing music, I’ll stop your mentorship,'” he said.

Simpson said he spoke of a return to swimming with other superstars of the sport, including Grant Hackett and Michael Phelps.

“Nobody said it was crazy when I told them… I told Phelps, Hackett, and Thorpe, and I was never greeted by any of those guys with a doubt, like they always went, ‘Yeah, I think you can do it.’

“That gave me the air under my wings to give it a shot,” Simpson said.

Earlier in Tokyo, Olympic Olympian Elijah Winnington began his return to the swim liberation by defending his national title in the men’s 400m freestyle in 3:43.10.

Elijah Winnington was disappointed in Tokyo but kept his Australian title in Adelaide. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

Winnington entered the Olympics as the gold medal favorite but underperformed, finishing seventh.

He said he fell into a state of semi-depression after the Games.

“The last real 400 I did was the one in Tokyo that I walked away from a little disappointed, as you can imagine,” he said.

“It’s a race that I was nervous about returning to; this is my big race since Tokyo,” he said.

“I knew where I was physically, but I wasn’t sure where my mind was going.”

He said he has been working on his psyche for a long time since Tokyo.

“I’ve had months and months of psychological sessions, just reflection sessions, and I even enjoyed trying to think positively about Tokyo and see all the benefits I got from that outcome, although it may not have been the result I wanted,” he said. †

Gold medal winner Mack Horton in Rio finished second behind Winnington, securing a spot at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Horton missed an individual swim in Tokyo, although he was selected as a relay swimmer.

“I can say I’m still growing and learning,” Winnington said.

Posted 7 hours ago Wed May 18, 2022, at 10:34 AM, updated 4 hours ago Wed May 18, 2022, at 12:46 PM

Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.

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