Australia’s Matthew Temple picked up a silver medal in the men’s 100m butterfly, finishing ahead of former pop star Cody Simpson in his first international final.
Temple, the favourite leading into the event, was closing in on Canada’s Joshua Liendo Edwards but couldn’t reel him in, eventually touching in a dead heat with England’s James Guy for second. The top three swimmers all finished within 0.16 seconds of each other.
Simpson touched the wall in fifth after finishing strongly.
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The musician turned swimmer was slow out the blocks and struggled during the first leg until he powered home in the second 50m to finish inside the top five.
His time of 52.06 seconds was the second-quickest of his career, but was still short of his personal best of 51.79 seconds.
His return to the pool after ten years away was nothing short of remarkable. After the race he admitted competing at the Commonwealth Games was more nerve-wracking than performing to 10,000 screaming teenagers but said he was gaining confidence.
“It’s an amazing experience,” Simpson said.
“I talked to my coach before the race he said ‘whatever happens, you’re just gathering intel, gaining experience’ and I’m just glad I went out there and put together the best race I could tonight.
“And (I was) just off my PB so can’t ask for much more.”
Simpson added: “I want to inspire young people to know that they can do whatever it is they want to do, even if they feel like it’s too late or they’re too old to pick something up, because it’s never too late”.
He said he is well ahead of where he thought he would be in his dream of chasing a medal at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“I think with experience comes confidence. And I’m still gathering the experience, so still gaining confidence,” he said.
“I am happy to be here. And I think, win or lose today, I’m going to go back to the drawing board and make sure I come back stronger. I’m already way ahead where I thought I would be at this stage.”
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