ADELAIDE, Australia — Libby Trickett missed out on a chance of defending her Olympic title with a third placing in the 100 meters butterfly at the Australian Olympic selection trials in Adelaide on Friday. The 27-year-old Trickett is on the comeback trail after a short-lived retirement, but found Alicia Coutts and Jessicah Schipper too strong in a hotly-contested 100m butterfly final. Coutts, a silver medalist at last year’s Shanghai world championships, won the final in 57.59 seconds ahead of Beijing bronze medalist Schipper in 57.88sec and both qualified for the event at the London Games in July. Trickett was third in 58.64 sec and six-hundredths of a second inside the Olympic A qualifying time but not in the top two places in the event for London. Coutts won five gold medals at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and won three medals at last year’s world titles. Schipper, who was the fastest qualifier into the final, has won 10 medals at five world championships back to 2003.
Five-times Olympic champion Ian Thorpe’s bid to compete at the London Games suffered a major blow on Friday when he failed to make the final of the 200 meters freestyle at Australia’s national swimming trials in Adelaide. Thorpe, who will also compete in the 100 freestyle at the weekend, finished 12th fastest of the semifinalists, outside the top eight that will contest Saturday’s final at the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre.