Ian Thorpe fails in Olympic comeback bid


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The Independent Online

Ian Thorpe's bid to qualify for the Olympics in the 200 metres freestyle ended in disappointment today when he failed to make it through to the final of the Australian trials.

Thorpe, a five-time Olympic gold medallist, came out of retirement last year with the intention of swimming at the London Games but his 200m hopes foundered after he could only manage the 12th fastest time in the semi-finals.

The 29-year-old registered a time of one minute, 49.91 seconds, well adrift of Ryan Napoleon, quickest in 1:47.51.

Thorpe got off to a blistering start but slowed noticeably to finish well adrift of his personal best of 1:44.06, which stood as a world record for eight years.

"(I am) terribly disappointed with that, I thought I could and thought I would swim a lot quicker, much quicker," he said.

Thorpe is also looking to qualify for the 100m freestyle, the preliminaries for which get under way on Sunday. To advance to the Olympics, he has to finish in the top two in the final.

A sixth-placed finish in the final would see him come into consideration for the relay team.