Thorpe Qualifies for 200-Meter Freestyle Semis at Olympic Trials

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- Ian Thorpe qualified equal fifth-fastest for the 200-meter freestyle semifinals at Australia’s Olympic trials as he bids to swim at the London Games.

Thorpe, 29, clocked 1 minute, 49.16 to finish equal second in his heat and post his quickest time in the event since coming out of a five-year retirement in November. Ryan Napoleon was the fastest qualifier with a time of 1:48.27.

“I’m very happy with the swim,” the five-time Olympic champion told Channel Ten after the race at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide. “It’s a pretty decent time.”

Thorpe needs to post one of the top-eight fastest times in tonight’s semifinals to advance to tomorrow’s 200-meter final. Australia’s selection policy is to pick the top two from each event for the Olympics, with a top-six finish in the 100-meter or 200-meter freestyle securing a place on the relay squad. Thorpe is also scheduled to race in the 100-meter freestyle at the weeklong trials.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Baynes at