Swimming: Ledecky poised to light up U.S. Olympic Trials
By Steve Keating
OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - Katie Ledecky sent expectations soaring with her first swim of the U.S. Olympic Trials on Monday while Michael Phelps, the meet's other star attraction, was a no-show in the 200 metre freestyle.
Ledecky, who has an ambitious bid to qualify for the 200, 400 and 800 metre freestyles and chase a rare triple gold sweep at the Rio Olympics, cruised into the 400m final with a leading time of four minutes, 2.62 seconds.
The relaxed effort heightened the prospect that she will attack her own world mark of 3:58.37 in the final later on Monday to clinch an Olympic berth in spectacular style.
"Just trying to get those first-race jitters out of the way but hopefully tonight I will use the excitement, have fun and the important thing is getting my hand on the wall first, that's what the goal is," said Ledecky.
Ledecky, 19, has clocked eight of the top 10 swims all-time in the event and also owns the top times in the world this year in the 200 and 800 free.
If another sellout crowd at CenturyLink Arena came expecting to see Phelps they left disappointed after the 18-times Olympic gold medalist scratched from the 200m free.
Instead Phelps, who turns 31 on Thursday, will be left with four opportunities to secure a spot on his fifth Olympic team beginning on Tuesday with the 200m butterfly. He is also entered in the 100m fly, the 100m free and 200m individual medley.
Phelps's great rival Ryan Lochte, however, was back in the pool for the 200 free just 12 hours after the disappointment of a third place finish in the 400m individual medley. Continued...