Australia swim trials: Zac Stubblety-Cook gets world record; Cody Simpson may miss worlds

Zac Stubblety-Cook
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Olympic gold medalist Zac Stubblety-Cook broke the men’s 200m breaststroke world record at the Australia Swimming Championships. Singer Cody Simpson might not go to the world championships.

Stubblety-Cook, who broke the Olympic record in Tokyo, lowered the world record to 2:05.95. He broke the record of 2:06.12 set by Russian Anton Chupkov in 2019. It’s the fourth time the men’s 200m breast record has been lowered since the start of 2017.

“I can’t really believe it, to be honest,” Stubblety-Cook, 23, said on Amazon Prime. “I was just, obviously, trying to swim fast here, and I didn’t think that fast.”

Stubblety-Cook now looks for his first world title in Budapest in June after placing fourth at the last worlds in 2019.

Chupkov, the reigning world champion from 2019, will not be in Budapest due to the national ban on Russia for the war in Ukraine. The top challenger may be Olympic silver medalist Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands.

Also Thursday, 2016 Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers said he may change his mind and decide to swim at the world championships after all. If he does, that would mean that Simpson, the pop star who returned to swimming in 2020 after a decade break, would not be in line for a roster spot.

Chalmers took second in the 100m butterfly at trials on Wednesday. Simpson took third. A nation can send two swimmers to worlds in individual events (provided they have the minimum qualifying time), so it appeared at the time that Simpson would ascend to the second spot with Chalmers expected to decline.

Swimming Australia said last month that Chalmers was bypassing worlds this summer while focusing on the Commonwealth Games in July and August. But on Thursday, Chalmers, after winning the 50m butterfly, said he had not made up his mind.

“I’m not sure,” Chalmers, who is coming back from December shoulder surgery, said on Amazon Prime. “Eight weeks ago, I wasn’t swimming at all. I didn’t know whether I’d be swimming at all this year. So I think, for me, it would have been disrespectful to everyone, really, to say that I was going to world championships and going for butterfly [not his primary stroke].”

Chalmers said he will talk to his coach.

“I’d love to be a part of the team,” he said. “I’ve earned my spot on the team, and we’ll see what happens over the next little period.”

Simpson is still in line for a spot on the team for the Commonwealth Games, where nations can enter three swimmers per individual event. How does Chalmers feel about Simpson possibly missing worlds?

“You can’t make me out to be the villain,” Chalmers said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “Yeah, it’s unfortunate that it probably takes Cody’s spot away, but it also takes away five other guys’ [places] who were in the race. It’s not just Cody. I think the hard thing is my training buddy Matt Temple is the Australian record holder who won his back-to-back [100m butterfly] title last night. There is no attention or hype around him, which is for me what I struggle the most with. It’s great there is eyes on me and Cody. The eyes deserve to be on Matt Temple.”

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U.S. women win record 27th consecutive FIBA World Cup game

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SYDNEY — There’s been a long legacy of success for the U.S. women’s basketball team at the World Cup.

The names change over time, but the results don’t seem to.

Kelsey Plum scored 20 points, Chelsea Gray added 16 and the United States routed Bosnia and Herzegovina 121-59 on Tuesday to break the team record for consecutive wins at the World Cup.

The victory was the 27th in a row in World Cup play for the Americans, who haven’t lost since the 2006 semifinals against Russia. The U.S. won 26 in a row from 1994-2006 leading up to that game. The Soviet Union holds the World Cup record with 56 straight wins from 1959-86.

“It’s kind of amazing,” said Breanna Stewart, who has been part of the last three World Cup teams. “Obviously, been here for some of it, but you understand the legends before that who really kind of started the streak. It goes to show that no matter who is playing on USA Basketball, we’re always trying to chase excellence.

“This streak doesn’t mean much right now because we’re going into the quarterfinals and focusing on winning a gold medal, but it’s something to kind of hang your hat on later.”

What started with Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Sylvia Fowles has now been passed on to Stewart and A’ja Wilson. A legacy of excellence that doesn’t appear it will end anytime soon.

“The players change and, you know, there was a lot of concern about who’s next,” U.S. coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It was a concern when Dawn Staley and Lisa Leslie were playing and who was going to be next. Then it was Sue and (Taurasi) and then other great players, too. Now with this group they are saying, hey, we’re pretty good, too.”

MORE: FIBA World Cup Schedule, Results

The U.S. last lost a group play game in 1975, according to Bill Mallon of Olympedia.org.

“We know the responsibility when you put on this jersey. There’s a lot more than yourself,” Plum said. “Everyone puts pride to the side. We have a common goal. We have some amazing players on this team.”

The Americans (5-0) won their pool games by an average of 46.2 points and never trailed in any of them. Now they play Serbia in the quarterfinals.

The U.S. was coming off a record rout of South Korea in which the team broke the World Cup record for points with 145. While the Americans didn’t match that number, they put the game out of reach in the first 10 minutes, going up 33-15.

The lead ballooned to 63-31 at halftime. Bosnia and Herzegovina put together a small run to start the third quarter, but the U.S. scored the final 19 points of the period.

Once again they used a dominant inside performance, outscoring Bosnia and Herzegovina 84-28 in the paint led by Wilson, Stewart and Brionna Jones.

“It’s a huge part of our identity,” Reeve said. “Ninety-whatever we had yesterday and 84 today, we just know what we’re good at and we have players that are really understanding their opportunities for that.”

The U.S. was missing Jewell Loyd, whom the team said was resting. Kahleah Copper started in her place and finished with 11 points.

Nikolina Elez scored 19 points to lead the Bosniaks (0-5), who were playing in their first World Cup.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium 85, Bosnia and Herzegovina 55 Group A
11:30 p.m. Serbia 81, Mali 68 Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA 145, South Korea 69 Group A
2 a.m. France 67, Japan 53 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 95, Puerto Rico 60 Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia 75, Canada 72 Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 92, South Korea 73 Group A
11:30 p.m. China 81, Belgium 55 Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA 121, Bosnia and Herzegovina 59 Group A
2 a.m. Canada 88, Mali 65 Group B
3:30 a.m. Serbia 68, France 62 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 71, Japan 54 Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. USA vs. Serbia
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Canada vs. Puerto Rico
4 a.m. China vs. France
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Belgium
Fri., Sept. 30 3 a.m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final