Swimming-Walsh, Fink add their names to US team for Paris Games


FILE PHOTO: Swimming - World Aquatics Championships - Aspire Dome, Doha, Qatar - February 18, 2024 Carson Foster of the United States in action during the men’s 400m medley heats REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) -Gretchen Walsh backed up her world record performance in the semi-finals of the 100m butterfly by winning Sunday's final while Nic Fink held on to win the 100m breaststroke as both swimmers secured spots on the U.S. team for the Paris Olympics.

Walsh brought the house down at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday when she broke the record and almost did it again a day later, touching the wall in 55.31 seconds, just shy of her freshly-minted record of 55.18.

"I'm still in shock, I don't even know what to say," said the 21-year-old after booking her first trip to an Olympics.

"Making the team was the biggest goal but getting a world record was absolute insanity."

Torri Huske was second with a time of 55.52.

Fink got off to a blistering start and fended off a late challenge from second place finisher Charlie Swanson to punch his ticket to a second Games.

The soon-to-be father was cheered on by his pregnant wife Melanie, who shed tears after Fink touched the wall first on Father's Day.

"That's a win for me but it's really a win for everybody in my life," said Fink.

"My wife and I have had an equal share in this pregnancy so far so she's been great," he said to laughter from the thousands on hand for the second night of the nine-day trials.

Fink finished fifth in the 200m breaststroke at the Tokyo Games and considered putting less priority on swimming but the 30-year-old now finds himself heading back to the sport's biggest stage.

"It takes a village to get this old man this far," he said.

"I need a lot of help and I've got more than enough of it."

Carson Foster will be making his Olympic debut after his triumph in the 400m individual medley.

Foster was overcome with emotion after adding his name to the team. The 22-year-old had just missed out on the squad for the Tokyo Games in 2021.

"I have probably 25 family and friends in the stands and I wish I could just jump that fence and go hug them," Foster said.

Chase Kalisz was second with a time of 4:09.39.

Seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky won her 200m freestyle semi-final and will be top seed for the final.

Ledecky qualified for her fourth Games on Saturday with a dominant victory in the 400m freestyle before a crowd of 20,689, a record number for a swim meet.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Indianapolis; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Peter Rutherford)

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