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Nathan Adrian can defend 2012 Olympic 100m freestyle gold

Nathan Adrian
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Nathan Adrian qualifies to defend 2012 Olympic gold in Rio

Nathan Adrian qualified to defend his 2012 Olympic gold medal by clocking the second-fastest time in the world for 2016.

Nathan Adrian qualified to defend his Olympic gold medal in the 100m freestyle by winning the event in 47.72 seconds at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials on Thursday from Omaha, Nebraska.

Adrian raced to the second-fastest time in the world this year, and will be joined by Caeleb Dressel for an individual berth to Rio. Dressel, a college standout racing without his trademark Bible verse written in Sharpie on his face, clocked 48.23.

Adrian won the 100m freestyle Olympic title in 2012 by one one-hundredth of a second over Australia’s James Magnussen.

Ryan Held and Anthony Ervin also earned automatic berths to Rio by finishing in third and fourth place, respectively, while 2012 Olympian Jimmy Feigen finished fifth and will likely be named to the team later. Blake Pieroni, who finished sixth, will also likely be named later to the team.

Josh Prenot and Kevin Cordes qualified for the 200m breaststroke at the 2016 Rio Olympics by finishing first and second, respectively at Trials.

Prenot broke Cordes’ American record – set earlier in the Trials – and raced to two minutes, 7.17 seconds.

Cammile Adams raced to 2:06.80 to win the 200m butterfly – her signature event – at Trials and earn a second trip to the Olympic Games. Adams finished fifth in the event at the London Olympics in a time of 2:06.78. Hali Flickinger was second in 2:07.50 and will likely be named to the 2016 Olympic team, too.

Earlier in the preliminary heats on Wednesday, Adams’ return trip to the Olympics was nearly derailed as a disqualification was called on her turn; it was later overturned and she was cleared to compete.

Ryan Lochte advances to the final in first place, ahead of birthday boy Michael Phelps, in the 200m individual medley. Lochte raced to 1:56.71 while still nursing a groin injury and Phelps clocked 1:57.61 to advance in second place.

Lochte owns the past four World titles (2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015) and the world record, set in 2011 at 1:54.00, while Phelps owns the past three Olympic titles (2004, 2008, 2012).

The last time they battled at a major competition, the 2012 Olympics, Phelps won gold in 1:54.27 to Lochte’s 1:54.90.

Abbey Weitzeil enters Thursday’s final in first place after posting the top time of the night (53.57) in the 100m freestyle semifinals. Also joining her are Simone Manuel, Dana Vollmer, Katie Ledecky and Allison Schmitt.

Neither Missy Franklin nor Natalie Coughlin was fast enough to advance to the final.

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Tyler Clary won his semifinal heat in 1:55.92 in the same event he owns the 2012 Olympic gold medal, the 200m backstroke. He’ll advance to Friday’s final in third place ahead of the rest of the field – which includes Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley in the first and second spots.

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Tyler Clary is a 2012 gold medalist in the 200m backstroke from the United States.

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2012 Olympian Micah Lawrence leads the pack after the semifinals of the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:24.66. Fellow London Olympian Breeja Larson did not advance to the final.

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U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials are June 26 to July 3 in Omaha, Nebraska and decide which swimmers participate at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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