Olympic Champion finishes last in her comeback

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

Forty-seven-year-old former Olympian Shane Gould failed to qualify for the 50-metres butterfly semi-finals at the Australian national championships.

Olympic Champion finishes last in her comeback

Sydney:

Forty-seven-year-old former Olympian Shane Gould failed to qualify for the 50-metres butterfly semi-finals at the Australian national championships in Sydney on Thursday, instead finishing last in her heat. Gould, winner of three gold medals, a silver and a bronze as a 15-year-old at the 1972 Munich Olympics, clocked a time of 30.61 seconds, placing her a disappointing 61st out of 66 competitors in the non-Olympic event. Mother of four children, Shane Gould lined up against some of Australia's best young butterfly swimmers at the Australian national championships in Sydney on Thursday. Gould, who took the swimming world by storm as a 15-year-old at the 1972 Munich Olympics, was hoping to qualify for the semi-finals of the 50 metres butterfly event at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre. The quest for qualification stems from a desire Gould holds to prove that older people can lead active sporting lives. As a fresh-faced teenager, Gould won three gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the 1972 Games. However, uncomfortable with her high profile, she left the sport just two years after her stunning Olympic debut to marry and settle in Western Australia. Back in the limelight, however, Gould could not match the pace set by her fellow competitors - every one of them, after all, was born a decade or more after she burst onto the international scene in Munich. Gould could only clock a time 30.61 seconds, placing her 61st out of 66 competitors. There was only a hint of regret from the former darling of Australian swimming. "Yes I would have liked to have done something spectacular with a captive audience. (I am) a bit of a show pony I think sometimes," Shane Gould said jokingly. But, for the woman who once held all freestyle world records from 100 metres to 1500 at the age of 16, the dream is not over. She has vowed to return to the championships next year to continue her quest for success, 32 years after claiming three Olympic golds in her one and only Games. (AP)



Topics : Swimming
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