Simone Manuel failed to qualify for the women’s 50 free final.

Simone Manuel failed to qualify for the women’s 50 free final.

July 31, 2021

By John Branch

Simone Manuel of the United States failed to qualify for the 50-meter freestyle final after finishing 11th out of 16 swimmers in semifinal heats in a time of 24.63 seconds.

It was the only individual event for Manuel, who shockingly did not qualify for the Olympics in the 100 free, her signature event and one where she won gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

After the U.S. team trials in June, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome earlier in the year. Along with extreme fatigue, she had been experiencing depression and insomnia and had been required to step back from her normal, intense training routine.

She earned a bronze medal early in the Tokyo meet in the 4×100 free relay. She was not part of that team during qualifying heats, but was added for the final to bolster the medal chances.

Emma McKeon of Australia finished first among the semifinalists with a time of 24 seconds, an Olympic record.

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