Swim star Campbell fails to make fifth Olympics, pop star Simpson misses out

general15 June 2024 11:47| © AFP
article image
Cate Campbell © Getty Images

Shayna Jack and Meg Harris booked Australia's two spots in the Olympic 50m freestyle on Saturday, with Tokyo gold medallist Emma McKeon and a tearful fellow veteran Cate Campbell missing out.

Pop star-turned swimmer Cody Simpson was another casualty on the sixth and final day of the Australian Olympic trials in Brisbane, failing to make the grade in the men's 100m butterfly.

Jack hit the wall in a sizzling 23.99secs, dipping under 24.00 for the first the time, ahead of Harris in 24.26.

Their 1-2 came at the expense of third-placed McKeon and Campbell, a long-time Australian stalwart who was bidding to make a fifth Games but came seventh.

Campbell's sister Bronte also missed out, as did Mollie O'Callaghan who had already booked swims in the 100m and 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke in Paris.

All the top six were under the qualifying time.

"I'm absolutely so proud of that swim, I finally cracked 24," said Jack, who also qualified for the 100m freestyle.

"For me, I'm just approaching every race trying to have fun. I missed out on the 2021 Olympics (in Tokyo) so really wanted to come here and see what I'm capable of."

Jack was unable to swim in Tokyo due to a two-year doping ban, having always proclaimed her innocence.

McKeon, Australia's most decorated Olympian with 11 medals, including five gold, also failed to qualify for the defence of her 100m freestyle crown, but will be in France for the 100m butterfly.


However, defeat drew a curtain on the Olympic career of 32-year-old Cate Campbell that garnered eight medals, including four gold.

She was in tears as the other swimmers embraced her in the pool.

"It is bittersweet, it is not the fairytale ending I was hoping for and worked so hard for," said Campbell, who made her first Olympic team aged 15. "The mind was willing, but the body was a little bit lacking."

Simpson's dream was also shattered when he finished fifth behind winner Matt Temple.

A talented junior swimmer, he turned to music and made three albums, touring the world.

After working with Justin Bieber and publicly dating celebrities Miley Cyrus and Gigi Hadid, he returned to the sport in 2020.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Brendon Smith ensured he will again be challenging for a podium place by taking out the men's 400m medley in 4:10.18 ahead of William Petric (4:11.78), who also made the grade.

Ella Ramsay (4:36.56) and Jenna Forrester (4:38.16) both hit the mark in the women's 400m medley.

Teenager Ramsay has been a revelation, also qualifying for the 100m breaststroke and 200m medley.

Kaylee McKeown swam the fourth fastest 400m medley in history in April, but dropped the event to focus on the 200m medley and 100m and 200m backstroke, where she will defend her Olympic titles.

Lani Pallister won the women's 1500m freestyle in 15:53.79, adding it to her Olympic schedule which will also include the 400m and 800m freestyle, with open water swimmer Moesha Johnson also booking a ticket.