University of Wisconsin freshman Phoebe Bacon said she never imagined making the U.S. Olympic team in the women’s 200-meter backstroke. Most people couldn’t imagine Regan Smith not making it.
Yet that’s what happened Saturday night in perhaps the biggest upset at the Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Smith, the world record holder, finished third behind Rhyan White and Bacon in the finals of the 200 back and will not swim that race at the Olympics.
Bacon finished second in 2:06.46.
Days after revealing she was diagnosed with overtraining syndrome, Simone Manuel brought the crowd to its feet on the final night of the trials Sunday with a thrilling victory in the 50-meter freestyle.
The first Black woman to capture an individual gold medal in swimming, Manuel’s hopes were on the ropes after she failed to even qualify for the final of the 100 free, the event she won five years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
Nathan Adrian’s bid for a fourth Olympics came up short when he finished third in the men’s 50 free. Caeleb Dressel tied his American record with another dominating performance, touching about a half-body length ahead of Michael Andrew in :21.04.
Andrew earned his third individual event at the Olympics with a time of :21.48.