OMAHA, Neb. — Dara Torres lingered in the water after the other swimmers had climbed out of the pool. Her long career was finally over.
She wanted to soak up the moment as long as possible.
Torres, 45, came up short in her bid to make it to the Olympics for a sixth time. She was fourth in the 50-meter freestyle final Monday night, her only event at the U.S. swimming trials.
"This is really over," Torres said. "That's it, I'm going to enjoy some time with my daughter, have a nice summer and cheer on the U.S. team."
After winning three silver medals in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, Torres had radical knee surgery and put all her hopes into a chaotic dash from one end of the pool to the other. But Jessica Hardy won in 24.50 seconds and Kara Lynn Joyce took the other Olympic spot in 24.73.
"Obviously I was hoping to make the team," Torres said. "That was my goal and missing it by less than a tenth of a second is tough, but I don't think there's anything I could have changed."
To be precise, Torres was denied a trip to London by 0.09 seconds, touching behind third-place Christine Magnuson (24.78). Torres smiled when she saw her time (24.82) and hugged Hardy and Joyce.
When Torres got out, she began motioning for her daughter, 6-year-old Tessa, to join her.
Torres, the former standout at Florida, walked into the stands, still dripping wet, and scooped up Tessa, who was wearing a green shirt that said "Go Mom."
"She's bummed she's not going to London now," Torres said. "I told her I'd still take her."
Meanwhile, Michael Phelps will not try to win eight gold medals again after all.
The world's greatest swimmer dropped one of his eight Olympic events, the 200 free, leaving him with seven in London. The 14-time gold medalist said he was fine with deciding to pull back from any attempt to equal his haul from the Beijing Games.
"Four years ago, we were trying to literally do everything," he said Monday. "That was what we wanted to do but at this point, it's let's go out, let's have some fun, let's relax a little bit."
In the last event of the eight-day trials, Andrew Gemmell won the 1,500 free in 14 minutes, 52.19 seconds. Connor Jaeger (14:52.51) took the second and final spot for London.
Track runoff called off
EUGENE, Ore. — It will be remembered as the most anticipated race never run.
Jeneba Tarmoh conceded the final U.S. Olympic track and field spot rather than meet training partner Allyson Felix in a runoff to settle their third-place tie in the 100 meters.
In the original race June 23, Tarmoh leaned across the finish line and looked up to see her name on the scoreboard in the third spot behind winner Carmelita Jeter and runnerup Tianna Madison. Only later was the spot ruled a dead heat.
"Running in this (runoff) came down to how I felt internally. … If I was at peace, I would have run," Tarmoh told AP. "My heart was not at peace with running."
Felix, who will run the 100 and 200 in London, said in a statement: "The situation has been difficult for everyone involved. … I wanted to earn my spot on this team and not have it conceded to me so I share in everyone's disappointment that this runoff will not happen."