Katie Ledecky’s hopes of swimming another relay event at the Rio Olympics took a big hit when she finished seventh in the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
Ledecky was hoping for a top-six finish Friday night, which likely would have assured her of at least swimming in the preliminaries of the 4×100 free relay in Rio.
Nineteen-year-old Abbey Weitzeil claimed her first trip to the Olympics by touching first in 53.28 seconds, while another 19-year-old, Simone Manuel, took the second spot in 53.52. She, too, is an Olympic rookie.
The next four finishers are also likely to swim on the relay, and all are Olympic veterans. Amanda Weir is heading to the Summer Games for the third time after finishing third in 53.75, followed by Lia Neal (53.77), Allison Schmitt (53.87) and Dan Vollmer (53.92).
Ledecky was next at 53.99, an impressive showing given that sprinting isn’t her forte but not quite good enough. Still, she’s already earned spots on the Olympic team in the 200 and 400 free, and will be an overwhelming favorite in her final event of the trials: the 800 free Saturday night.
Since she’ll be in Rio, Ledecky would be available to join the 4×100 free relay if there’s any sort of issues, such as an injury or illness. She’ll be busy enough as it is, also competing in the 4×200 free relay.