Michael Phelps made it three-for-three at the U.S. Olympics swimming trials, rallying over the final lap to win the 100-meter butterfly Saturday night. In what was billed as the farewell race in his home country,
Phelps competed in lane seven after a sluggish swim in the semifinals. As usual, it took him a lap to really get going, making the turn in fourth place. But
Phelps powered to the front, his huge wingspan ripping through the water. With a long glide to the wall, he finished in 51.00 seconds. When
Phelps saw the “1” beside his name, he pounded the water and pointed toward his family — including 7-week-old son Boomer — up in the stands. He’ll now get a chance to win his fourth straight gold in the 100 fly at Rio. The real race was for the second Olympic spot, which went to Tom Shields in 51.20. He touched just ahead of Seth Stubblefield (51.24) and Jack Conger (51.26).
Ledecky cruises in 800 meters
Katie Ledecky, whose uncle Jon Ledecky is the Islanders’ new majority co-owner, added a third race to her Olympic schedule, cruising to a nearly 10-second victory in the 800-meter freestyle at the U.S. swimming trials Saturday night. One night after competing in the 100 free, the 19-year-old Ledecky didn’t have quite enough in the tank to challenge her own world record. She finished in 8 minutes, 10.32 seconds, far off the mark of 8:06.68 she set in January at a meet in Austin, Texas. Still, it was another dominating performance by a swimmer who surprisingly captured gold in the 800 free four years ago, but will go into Rio as one of the biggest favorites in any sport. Leah Smith took the second Olympics spot in 8:20.18 — nearly half a lap behind Ledecky. Ledecky also posted wins in the 200 and 400 free at the trials in Omaha, Nebraska, which means she’ll have three individual events and a relay at the Olympics. The only thing that didn’t go her way: a seventh-place finish in the 100 free, an event she only recently started focusing on in hopes of landing a second relay race. She’ll be busy enough as it is.
Adrian qualifies in 50-meter freestyle
Nathan Adrian won the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Saturday night, making up for the disappointment of failing to qualify four years ago.
In a furious dash from one end of the pool to the other, Adrian touched ahead of Anthony Ervin in 21.51 seconds. Ervin claimed the second spot for Rio - one-hundredth of a second behind the winner.
Two-time Olympian Cullen Jones won’t be heading to Rio. The silver medalist from London finished third at 21.75, missing a spot on the U.S. team.
At age 32, it might’ve been Jones’ last hope. He was the last man to climb out of the pool, soaking up the moment for as long as possible.
Then again, age hasn’t been a hindrance to Ervin. The 35-year-old is the oldest swimmer at the trials, but he’s heading to the Olympics for the third time.
Adrian swept the 50 and 100 freestyle at the trials. In 2012, he stunningly failed to make the U.S. team in the 50, but captured Olympic gold in the 100. — AP