Bloomberg News

Dara Torres Falls Short of Sixth Olympics at 45 as Hardy Wins

July 03, 2012

Dara Torres

Dara Torres, 45, who finished fourth, waves following the women's 50M Freestyle final on the last day of the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials on July 2, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska which was won by Jessica Hardy. Photographer: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/GettyImages

Dara Torres’s bid to qualify for her sixth Olympic team at age 45 ended with a fourth-place finish in the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. swimming trials.

Jessica Hardy earned her second individual win yesterday in Omaha, Nebraska, where she finished in 24.5 seconds to add the 50m to her triumph in the 100m freestyle. Hardy missed the 2008 Beijing Olympics after testing positive for a banned substance later ruled to be caused by a tainted supplement.

Kara Lynn Joyce took the second Olympic berth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.73, hitting the wall nine-hundredths of a second ahead of Torres, whose 12 Olympic medals are tied for the most by a U.S. female swimmer.

“This is really over,” Torres, who took three silver medals in Beijing, said in a televised interview. “I’m going to enjoy some time with my daughter, have a nice summer and cheer the U.S. team on.”

Torres’s only event came on the final day of the U.S. Olympic trials, where Michael Phelps said he’d drop the 200- meter freestyle from his schedule in London, leaving him with a shot at one fewer gold medal than the record eight he won in Beijing four years ago.

Phelps, whose 14 Olympic gold medals are the most in history, had won the 200m freestyle at the trials on June 27, yet said he’ll skip it to focus on other events.

“The biggest thing we wanted to do is make sure that we could compete at a high level with a lot of events,” Phelps said in a phone interview. “After this week, thinking about everything that will be there in London with possibly adding three relays, we just want the best shot at doing the best that we can with the events that we have.”

Phelps’s Schedule

Phelps will race in four individual events in London -- the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and the 200- and 400-meter individual medley -- and probably compete in three relays.

Hardy, 25, won both the 50- and 100-meter freestyles in Omaha after failing to qualify for the Olympics in her best event, the 100-meter breaststroke.

“I don’t believe it,” Hardy said. “I thought I was a breaststroker coming into this meet, but I’ll take it.”

Hardy in August 2008 withdrew from the U.S. Olympic swim team and missed the Beijing Games after testing positive for a banned substance at the trials the previous month. In May 2009, the American Arbitration Association ruled the failed test was caused by a contaminated nutritional supplement and reduced her two-year ban to a year, a ruling that was later upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

Andrew Gemmell and Connor Jaegar were the final two additions to the U.S. Olympic swim team after finishing 1-2 in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle to end the trials.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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