Thorpe advances to 200 freestyle semis at trials

JOHN PYE AP Sports Writer Published:

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Ian Thorpe swam his fastest time in the 200-meter freestyle since coming out of retirement to reach the semifinals of the Australian Olympic trials, continuing his quest to qualify for London 2012.

The screaming from the crowd started the moment the five-time Olympic champion stepped onto the blocks in lane seven Friday morning and didn't end until he'd finished in a dead heat for second place in heat seven to ensure he'd progress to the next round.

Thorpe and David McKeon finished in 1 minute, 49.16 seconds. Ryan Napolean won that heat and was the fastest qualifier for the semifinals in 1:48.27.

Thorpe said it was a "pretty decent time. I'm happy with that swim this morning."