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Ian Thorpe can't hide his disappointment after the semi-final of the men's 200m freestyle at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide. Picture: Simon Cross Source: Herald Sun
Libby Trickett during her women's 100-metre butterfly heat at the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide. Picture: Gregg Porteous. Source: News Limited
FIVE-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe has bombed out of the 200m freestyle, finishing 12th at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide.
Thorpe, who only announced he was making a comeback 14 months ago, now needs to finish in the top six of the 100m freestyle if his Olympic dream is to be realised.
After a strong start, Thorpe faded in the last 100m, stopping the clock in 1:49.91s, slower than the 1:49.18 he swam this morning in the heat.
"I'm terribly disappointed with that, I had a really good heat swim and I thought I could swim a lot quicker," Thorpe said.
"The last 100 was a struggle, I'm not sure why.
"This was slower than what I swam this morning, probably the inexperience of racing in the last 18 months held me up.
"The fairytale has turned into a nightmare.
"I'm really grateful for everyone's support, they've been great.
"Hopefully I'll be faster (in the 100m)."
Ryan Napoleon was the fastest in 1:47.51, with Thomas Fraser-Holmes, the defending title-holder, second.
Trickett misses spot
ALICIA Coutts and Jessicah Schipper are on their way to London, but Libby Trickett's Olympic dreams are on hold after coming third in the 100m butterfly in Adelaide tonight.
Coutts, ranked number two in the world, was impressive swimming 57.59, holding off former world champion Schipper (57.88) to take the Australian title.
Trickett, who is the defending Olympic champion in the event, will have to wait until the 100m freestyle to try and get on the team after coming third in 58.64.
But all honours were with Coutts, who going to the games for a second time.
"I just wanted to go out there and get in the Olympic team," Coutts said.
"I was a bit nervous, but it's a massive weight off my shoulders."
For Trickett, it was a case of so cnear but so far, but she's taking a lot of confidence out of the performance.
"I'm thrilled, I really had no idea what to expect tonight, but I just let it flow," Trickett said.
"I was so close, but that's going to give me so much confidence going into the 100m freestyle."
Meanwhile, Emily Seebohm showed her campaign is on track with a narrow victory in the women's 50m backstroke.
Seebohm pipped Sophie Edington by one hundredth of a second, clocking 28.03 in the non-Olympic event.
The pair will also swim in the 100m backstroke semi-finals later tonight.
Palmer sets Australian record
KYLIE Palmer set a new Australian record in the women's 400m freestyle as she booked a ticket to the London Olympics with an outstanding performance.
Palmer, the defending title-holder, stopped the clock in 4:03.40, beating her previous mark by almost a second.
Queenslander Bronte Barratt finished second and will also be heading to London.
Shortly afterwards, the packed house at the SA Aquatic and Leisure had something to cheer about - hometown hero Hayden Stoeckel winning his semi-final of the 100m backstroke in 53.73 seconds and qualifying fastest for tomorrow night's final.
NSW's Ben Treffers won the other semi-final in 54.36 seconds.
In the women's version of the same event, Emily Seebohm took out the first semi-final in 1:00.06, but it was Belinda Hocking who stole the show, breaking the one minute barrier in the second semi-final.
Hocking, the defending Australian title-holder, swum 59.39, and goes into tomorrow night's final as the favourite.
Sprenger edges Rickard
VETERAN breastroker Christian Sprenger has edged out his rival Brenton Rickard to claim the 100m title at the Australian Swimming Championships.
Rickard, the defending title and world record-holder, was always chasing Sprenger, who showed plenty of emotion after swimming 59.91 seconds.
Rickard was .22s behind, but both have secured their spots on the team for the London Olympics.
"My stroke felt awesome, under 60 was the goal, and it's amazing. I'm absolutely pumped," Sprenger said afterwards.
"It takes a lot to get to the Olympics, we're strong competitors and we'll take it overseas."
Earlier, Leisel Jones qualified second fastest for tomorrow night's 100m breatstroke final, with Queenslander Leiston Pickett going through quickest.
Pickett stopped the clock in 1:07.41, with Jones just over a second behind in 1:08.41. Sarah Katsoulis won the first semi-final in 1:08.66.
Jones said she was relaxed heading into the final, but Pickett was going to provide plenty of competition as she chases her 10th Australian title in the event.
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