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06/19/24 07:58:00

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06/19 19:56 CDT Douglass wins 100 free at US swim trials, Manuel relegated to relay with fourth-place finish Douglass wins 100 free at US swim trials, Manuel relegated to relay with fourth-place finish By PAUL NEWBERRY AP National Writer INDIANAPOLIS (AP) --- Kate Douglass won the women's 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials on Wednesday night, with Simone Manuel claiming a relay spot with a fourth-place finish after bouncing back from overtraining syndrome. Manuel, the first Black woman to capture an individual swimming gold when she tied for the top spot in this event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, was denied a chance to swim the 100 free at the Paris Games. Torri Huske took the second individual spot. Douglass was only fourth at the turn, but she powered to the finish for a winning time of 52.56 seconds. Huske finished at 52.93, while Gretchen Walsh faded from the lead at the midway point to touch third in 53.13. Manuel was next at 53.25, with fifth-place finisher Abbey Weitzeil (53.70) also likely headed to her third Olympics as a relay option. Manuel will have another chance to qualify for an individual Olympic event in the 50-meter freestyle, but she was clearly moved just to be on a relay. "It means everything to me," Manuel said, breaking down in tears on deck. "It's a miracle that I'm even able to stand up here and be able to race again. The people close to me know the journey it took to get here. I'm really proud of myself and proud of Team USA." Manuel won two golds and two silvers at the Rio Games, a breakout performance for swimmers of color in a largely white sport. But her body broke down under the strain of overtraining syndrome ahead of the pandemic-delayed games in Tokyo. Manuel failed to even qualify for the 100 freestyle, though she did bounce back to earn a spot in the 50 free. In Tokyo, she was eliminated in the semifinals of her only individual event, with her lone medal coming as the anchor of the 4x100 free relay team that finished third. After the Olympics, she was ordered by her doctor to shut down all physical activity for more than six months to give her body time to properly recover. Douglass had built on a bronze medal in the 200 individual medley at Tokyo to become one of America's most versatile swimmers. She won a total of 14 medals at the last three world championships in everything from the freestyle to the breaststroke to the individual medley to the relays. Now, she's headed back to the Olympics. So is 17-year-old Thomas Heilman, who won the men's 200-meter butterfly and will become the youngest U.S. male Olympic swimmer since Michael Phelps made the team for Sydney at age 15. Luke Whitlock, 18, had laid claim to that distinction a night earlier with his second-place showing in the 800 freestyle. Then someone even younger made the team when Heilman touched first in 1 minute, 54.50 seconds. Luca Urlando claimed the expected second spot in Paris with a time of 1:55.08. ___ AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games
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