Thorpe fails in bid to qualify for London 2012

JOHN PYE AP Sports Writer Published:

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Ian Thorpe has failed to qualify for the London Olympics in his comeback from retirement.

The five-time Olympic champion didn't make it through the heats in the 100-meter freestyle on Sunday morning at the Australian selection trials.

His time of 50.35 seconds ranked him 21st, with only the top 16 advancing to the semifinals. World champion James Magnussen led the qualifiers in 48.26.

Thorpe, 29, failed earlier in the program to reach the final of the 200 freestyle, which was considered his best chance of qualifying for London. Thorpe quit competitive swimming in 2006 as the reigning 200 and 400 Olympic champion and returned to competition late last year.

Thorpe won his heat, the ninth of 12 in the 100, but was very slow to leave the pool after looking at the scoreboard and seeing his time. He seemed to know already that his time wasn't good enough to advance.

Thorpe needed to finish first or second in the 100 or 200 to earn individual selection for the London Olympics, or place in the top six in either event to be considered for a selection as a relay swimmer. He didn't get close.

Australia coach Leigh Nugent seemed to cut off the option of selector discretion when he said on Saturday that the team would be based on performances and times.

In Thorpe's absence, 20-year-old Thomas Fraser-Holmes won the 200 in 1:46.88 on Saturday night ahead of Kenrick Monk (1:57.16). Monk was cleared to represent Australia only after avoiding criminal charges last year after lying to police about a skateboard accident.

After his disappointment in the 200, Thorpe said he planned to continue swimming for a couple of years.