Sport 'Brutal' OIympic heartbreak for Aussie swim star

04:45  16 june  2021
04:45  16 june  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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Earlier this week, pop- star turned swimmer Cody Simpson, 24, turned heads in the City of Churches, clocking a slick 50.22 in the 100 metres freestyle. The impressive feat was more than a second quicker than Simpson's previous best time, and left him a respectable 23rd out of 92 competitors. The former squeeze of Miley Cyrus, who was a junior swimming prodigy, still has his favoured event, the 100 metres butterfly, to come over the next few days. Long term, he is targeting the 2024 Olympics in France.

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Former world record holder Matt Wilson has been reduced to tears after narrowly failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, having also just missed out on the Rio Games.

Wilson finished second behind Zac Stubblety-Cook in the 200 metres breaststroke at the selection trials in Adelaide, but his time of 2:08.52 was less than a quarter of a second outside the qualifying time of 2:08.28.

a man swimming in the water: A distraught Matthew Wilson after just missing out on qualifying in the Men's 200 metre Breaststroke during the Australian National Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide. © Getty A distraught Matthew Wilson after just missing out on qualifying in the Men's 200 metre Breaststroke during the Australian National Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide.

Wilson equalled the world record in the event at the 2019 world championships with a time of 2:06.67 in the semi-finals, eventually winning a silver medal in the final.

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Australian will defend 100m freestyle title at Tokyo Games. ‘I want to be a part of one of the greatest races in history’. Kyle Chalmers off the blocks in the Men’s 100 metre Freestyle final during the Australian National Olympic Swimming Trials at SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre on June 15, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. Earlier in the day, Zac Stubblety-Cook set a 200m breaststroke Commonwealth record as his rival Matt Wilson’s Olympic heartbreak continued. Second-placed Wilson finished 0.24 seconds outside the qualifying time specified by Swimming Australia.

"It's heartbreaking to see that," Stubblety-Cook said. "He worked so hard in and out of the pool and to see that, come so close, it's pretty tough."

Unknown to most, Wilson's grandmother died shortly before the selection trials.

Olympic gold medallist Grant Hackett, on Amazon Prime's coverage, said Wilson's distress was hard to watch.

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"It's brutal, you have the extreme highs and the extreme lows," he said.

a man sitting in a swimming pool: Matthew Wilson after just missing out on qualifying in the Men's 200 metre Breaststroke during the Australian National Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide. © Getty Matthew Wilson after just missing out on qualifying in the Men's 200 metre Breaststroke during the Australian National Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide.

His time of 2:08.52 is actually well inside the Olympic qualifying time of 2:10.35, however instead of using the Olympic qualifying time, Swimming Australia uses a tougher standard of the eighth fastest time from the 2019 world titles.

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Kieran Perkins’ Olympic gold is the stuff of legends, but for the other Aussie that day, Daniel Kowalski, it started his spiral into depression. The middle and long-distance swimmer dreamt of taking home gold, yet left with memories of heartbreak . He would suffer from depression and bulimia in the period immediately after the 1996 Games. “It led to such a dark period for a while after I got home from the Games because you shouldn’t be disappointed or feel like you failed because you won three individual medals at the Olympics ,” Kowalski said.

Earlier this week, Wilson finished fourth in the 100 metres breaststroke.

It's another heartbreak for Wilson, who won the 200 metres breaststroke at the 2016 selection trials, but was left off the team in controversial circumstances, again because his time was just outside the standard required by Swimming Australia, despite being faster than the required time set by the sport's world governing body.

Making his absence from Tokyo even harder to swallow, Wilson, along with Mack Horton and Emma McKeon, was part of the group of swimmers who last month unveiled Speedo's uniform for the Games, one he'll now never get the opportunity to wear.

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