Thorpe fails to qualify for World Cup finals

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Thorpe fails to qualify for World Cup finals

BEIJING - Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe’s comeback bid suffered a setback yesterday when he failed to qualify for the finals of the men’s 100-meter freestyle and the 100 individual medley at a World Cup short course event.

The Australian finished the 100 in 50.21 seconds, placing 15th across modest heat fields. Teammate Kyle Richardson had the fastest time of 48.11 seconds.

In the individual medley, Thorpe finished ninth in 56.70, just two-hundredths of a second off the last qualifying spot. Richardson had the top time again, finishing at 54.77.

“It was okay - it wasn’t my best performance in this series,’’ Thorpe told reporters after the heats, adding it was the first time he has competed in a short course 100-meter race in 10 years.

The 29-year-old Thorpe came out of more than five years of retirement earlier this year in a bid to represent Australia at next year’s London Olympics.

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