Aussie swimmer Libby Trickett keeps comeback hopes alive
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Triple Olympic champion Libby Trickett kept alive the sole remaining comeback bid at the Australian Olympic trials after she earned the right to be considered for a relay spot at the London Games by finishing fifth in the 100-meter freestyle.
Trickett, who needed a top-six finish, timed 54.21 seconds in Tuesday's final.
Winner Melanie Schlanger (53.85) and runner-up Cate Campbell (54.01) earned the individual spots on the Olympic team. Yolane Kukla (54.08), Brittany Elmslie (54.08) and sixth-place Alicia Coutts (54.25) also are in contention for relay places.
Trickett won the 100 butterfly and was second in the 100 free at the 2008 Olympics. She quit competitive swimming in 2009 and returned last year.
Five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe's bid to qualify for the London Games after almost six years in retirement ended when he failed to reach the final of the 100 or 200 freestyle. Former world record-holder Michael Klim, also out of retirement, missed out in the 100 free and 100 fly finals.
Trickett is almost certain to be included in the Australia squad when it is announced on Thursday.
"It's unbelievable," she said. "This whole journey for me has been probably more challenging emotionally and spiritually and mentally than it has been physically.
"It's hard to describe. I'm just so over the moon that I have the opportunity to represent my country at a third Olympic Games."
Geoff Huegill also kept his comeback bid going. He qualified for the 100 butterfly final in 52.57. Chris Wright was the fastest qualifier in 51.83, with Nick D'Arcy (52.21), Matt Targett (52.31) and Sam Ashby (52.53) also progressing.
James "Missile" Magnussen followed up his win in the 100 free on Monday, when he narrowly missed the world record, by leading the qualifiers into the final of the 50 free.
He set a personal best time of 21.87 in Tuesday's semifinals, followed by Eamon Sullivan in 21.88.