Dara Torres fell just short of qualifying for her sixth trip to the Olympics at the young age of 45. She finished fourth in the 50-meter freestyle during yesterday’s conclusion to the swimming trials for the U.S. Jessica Hardy won the event for her second win individually on Monday. Hardy swam the 50 meters in just 24.5 seconds to add to her win in the 100 -meter freestyle. Hardy did not attend the Beijing Olympics in 2008 after she tested positive for a substance that was banned, and later its cause was ruled due to a tainted supplement.
The second berth for the 50 free was taken by Kara Lynn Joyce with a 24.73-second time good enough for second place. She finished an incredible nine-hundredths of a second before Torres. Torres has 12 medals in Olympic swimming, which ties her for the most of any female swimmer from the U.S.
When Torres left the pool, she announced that her career was finally over. She won three silver medals in 2008 in Beijing at the age of 41. She said in an interview following her swim that she would spend time with her daughter, have a relaxing summer and cheer on the U.S. team.
Michael Phelps announced that he would not race in the 200 freestyle at the Olympics. That left him with only seven opportunities for gold in London, one fewer than the eight he won in Beijing that set a record in 2008.
Phelps owns 14 gold medals, the most in history and won the 200 free on June 27 at the trials, yet he has decided to skip the event in order to put more focus on the other seven.