Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Thorpe's OIympic dream flounders after missing out at Australian trials

March 16, 2012 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
Ian Thorpe looks disappointed after finishing his semifinal of the Australian Olympic trials over 200m freestyle.
Ian Thorpe looks disappointed after finishing his semifinal of the Australian Olympic trials over 200m freestyle.
  • Ian Thorpe misses Olympic qualification in the 200m freestyle at Australian trials
  • Thorpe can only finish 12th fastest in Friday's semifinals in Adelaide
  • Swimming legend will now turn his attention to the 100m freestyle
  • Libby Trickett fails to qualify in the women's 100m butterfly

(CNN) -- Swimming legend Ian Thorpe suffered a major setback Friday in his bid to make the Australian team for the London Olympics.

The 13-time world record holder could only manage 12th fastest time in the semifinals of the 200m freestyle, an event he once dominated.

The 29-year-old is making his comeback to the pool after a five-year break and after an encouraging performance in the heats, came up short as he tried to qualify for the final.

Watched by a sell-out crowd in Adelaide, Thorpe's time of one minute 49.91 seconds was slower than his morning swim despite leading through the early stages.

It was almost six seconds slower than his 2001 world record of one minute 44.06 seconds for the event.

The defeat ends hopes of a repeat of his 2004 Athens Olympics showdown over the 200m with American superstar Michael Phelps.

Thorpe, a nine-time Olympic medalist, took gold in Greece, but could not roll back the years.

"Obviously I was disappointed," he told gathered reporters. "The more time I've had to digest, the more disappointed I am."

Thorpe, who admitted in the buildup to the trials that he may have delayed his comeback too late, will have one more chance to make the Australian team over the 100m freestyle.

But he will be up against reigning world champion James Magnussen and former world record holder Eamon Sullivan with only the first two getting spots.

Thorpe could conceivably earn a place in the relay if he finishes in the top six in the final.

"I have the 100 now. I have to get myself back up," he said.

"Tomorrow, when I get back up, I have a competition to finish now. And a competition where I have to perform well. I still want my spot on this team."

There was also disappointment for Libby Trickett, who won gold in the 100m butterfly at the Beijing Olympics, and is returning after a short retirement.

She came third in the final behind Alicia Coutts and Jessicah Schipper to narrowly miss out.

"I can't be disappointed," Trickett told the official Swimming Australia website. "I did what I went out there to do tonight, I went out after it.

"So to get as close as I did is hugely confidence building. I can't have any regrets."

Part of complete coverage on
August 13, 2012 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
The moment that Team GB's Mo Farah won the 10,000 meters was a wonderful collision of electricity.
August 13, 2012 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
His blistering pace and larger-than-life antics made him the king of the track in London, and bolstered his claims to be a "living legend."
August 14, 2012 -- Updated 0944 GMT (1744 HKT)
Disappointment for Nigeria's Muizat Ajoke Odumosu, who came last in the 400m hurdles final, London 2012 Olympics.
The Olympics are generally won and lost long before the opening ceremony cauldron is touched by fire.
August 12, 2012 -- Updated 0738 GMT (1538 HKT)
Fans of the home side, Team GB, wave Union Jack flags during the Olympic Games
CNN's Richard Quest believes the London Games will be regarded as having brought the Olympics concept home.
August 11, 2012 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
Strategist Alastair Campbell says he never imagined London 2012 would be quite the triumph it turned out to be.
August 14, 2012 -- Updated 2057 GMT (0457 HKT)
Award-winning director Danny Boyle celebrates the best of British music in London 2012's Olympic Closing Ceremony.
January 31, 2013 -- Updated 1452 GMT (2252 HKT)
From Usain Bolt's record-setting achievements to an unexpected Ugandan gold, London 2012 has provided a wide array of highlights.
August 13, 2012 -- Updated 0305 GMT (1105 HKT)
CNN's Amanda Davies recaps the London 2012 Olympics from the opening ceremony on July 27 to the finale on day 16.
August 12, 2012 -- Updated 1702 GMT (0102 HKT)
Mo Farah and Usain Bolt celebrate their success at the London 2012 Olympic Games by copying each other's
It's been just over two weeks since the Queen parachuted into London's Olympic Stadium, her apricot dress flapping in the breeze.
August 15, 2012 -- Updated 1214 GMT (2014 HKT)
When the world's top marathon runners bid to win Olympic gold, they would do well to draw inspiration from one of the greatest athletes in the history of track and field.
August 11, 2012 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
Team GB supporters with their faces painted in Union Jack designs at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Alastair Campbell always thought London 2012 would be a success, but never imagined it would be quite the triumph it has turned out to be.
August 10, 2012 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Adrien Niyonshuti is unlikely to win an Olympic medal, and he will do well to even finish his event, but his story is surely one of the most inspirational.
August 10, 2012 -- Updated 1605 GMT (0005 HKT)
The colors of the Olympic Rings at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, August 2012.
Olympic fever has cheered up London and made it a more welcoming place, but will optimism be one of the legacies of the Games?
August 10, 2012 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Wojdan Shaherkani's Olympic debut was short, but sweet -- the Saudi judoka said competing at the Games was
London 2012 is the first Olympics to feature women in every national team, with Jacques Rogge hailing a "major boost for gender equality."
August 10, 2012 -- Updated 0040 GMT (0840 HKT)
An impoverished South Korean gymnast has not only struck Olympic gold, but also reaped a $444,000 donation in a veritable rags to riches tale.
August 9, 2012 -- Updated 0046 GMT (0846 HKT)
Britain's hero Jessica Ennis is set to cash in after winning heptathlon gold, but the poster girl of the 2012 Olympics says fame is not her motivation.
August 8, 2012 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
China is rallying around fallen hurdler Liu Xiang after he failed to make it past the first-round heat for a second consecutive Olympics.
August 3, 2012 -- Updated 1930 GMT (0330 HKT)
The first woman to win Olympic gold almost died in a plane crash, but remarkably returned to run again for the U.S. in 1936.
August 7, 2012 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
Don Paige could not bear to watch the race he knew he could win. The 1980 Moscow Olympics were the death of a dream for many athletes.
August 4, 2012 -- Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT)
Ricardo Blas Jr
While Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt grab the headlines, little-known athletes from around the world keep alive the original spirit of the Olympics.
Athletes spend years eating the right foods ... and then must resist the free fast food in the Olympic village. How do they do it?