Swimming-Chalmers U-turn could keep Simpsons out of world championships

MELBOURNE, May 20 (Reuters)Olympic gold medalist Kyle Chalmers has changed his mind about skipping the world championships and may deny pop singer-turned-swimmer Cody Simpson a spot at next month’s meet in Budapest.

Chalmers, who won gold in the 100m freestyle in Rio and silver in Tokyo, qualified for the 100m butterfly world championships at the Australian trials in Adelaide this week by finishing second in the final, a place ahead of Simpson.

Chalmers originally planned to miss the world championships to rest and focus on the July-August Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Simpson, whose pivot to swimming from a music career has made headlines Down Under, was due to compete in Budapest with 100 butterfly winner Matt Temple but he may now have to make way for Chalmers.

“I personally think (the world championships) will be the best thing for me going forward,” Chalmers told Australian media.

“You can’t make me look like the bad guy….To me, it’s a shame that it probably takes away Cody’s spot.

“There are also six other guys in the race who are disappointed, right? For me, swimming is a hard sport.

“You have to finish in the top two to get the individual spot, and unfortunately I – well, not unfortunately, that’s my dream.

“It’s my dream to be a butterfly, I started as a butterfly and always hoped to do butterfly.”

Earlier this week Chalmers, 23, said multiple surgeries on his shoulders had made everyday activities like driving and drinking difficult and he would skip Budapest.

But he was encouraged by his form in the Adelaide pool and won the 50m butterfly title on Thursday.

Simpson and Chalmers qualified for Birmingham in the 100m butterfly.

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

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