Dara Torres came up agonizingly short in her bid to make the United States swim team for the London Olympics on the last day of the trials on Monday, according to Reuters.
Torres finished fourth in the women's 50m freestyle final on the last day of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, narrowly missing out on qualifying for her sixth Olympic game.
The 45-year-old mother, who defied the odds for years by beating women much younger than her, needed to finish in the top two of the women's 50 meters freestyle to qualify for her sixth Olympics bid but could only manage fourth place.
After a tardy start, she caught up in the middle of the lap but faded in the final few strokes, finishing in 24.82, just 0.09 from making the team.
"This is really over, that's it," she told reporters. "I'm going to enjoy some time with my daughter and cheer on the U.S. team from afar."
Torres has won 12 Olympic medals, including four gold, during her career, which began in Los Angeles in 1984 when she was a teenager. She is the first swimmer from the United States to compete in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008. Torres won relay gold medals in Los Angeles, Barcelona (1992) and Sydney (2000) then came out of retirement to make the U.S. team for Beijing aged 41 and won three silver medals.
Since then, she has been plagued by injury and undergone surgery for shoulder and knee problems, and only entered the 50m freestyle at the trials because her body couldn't cope with any more races, continued the report.
"I don't think there is anything that I would change. I came fourth at the Olympic Trials against girls half my age," Torres said. "I'm used to winning, but that wasn't the goal here, the goal was to try to make it. I didn't quite do it, but I'm happy with how I did."
Jessica Hardy finished first in 24.50 seconds to add the 50m title to her victory after she failed to qualify in her main event, the 100m breaststroke, which she holds the world record in.
Hardy has been at the center of a disputed doping case for four years that forced her to miss the Beijing Olympics. The legal drama was for taking a nutritional supplement that the manufacturers later said had been accidentally contaminated, so she was cleared to compete at the Olympic Trials last year.
"I couldn't have predicted this. I'm so happy and so grateful that this meet went as it did."