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What a comeback: Manuel wins at trials, Adrian falls short

Simone Manuel is going back to the Olympics.

Days after revealing she was diagnosed with overtraining syndrome, Manuel brought the crowd to its feet on the final night of the U.S. Olympic swimming trials with a thrilling victory in the 50-meter freestyle Sunday.

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.

Simone Manuel reacts after the women's 50 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP PhotoCharlie Neibergall)

But Manuel bounced back from that disappointment to win the chaotic sprint from one end of the pool to the other in 24.29 seconds.

She edged Abbey Weitzeil, who already had locked up her spot on the team with a victory in the 100 free, by one-hundredth of a second.

While Manuel earned a trip to Tokyo, Nathan Adrian's bid for a fourth Olympics came up short when he finished third in the men's 50 free.

Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil react after the women's 50 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP PhotoJeff Roberson)

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, with Adrian next at 21.73.

Dressel hopped on the lane rope and splashed the water, while a smiling Adrian came over to congratulate the successor to Michael Phelps as America's biggest male swimming star.

Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil react after the women's 50 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP PhotoJeff Roberson)

The 32-year-old Adrian beat testicular cancer and arrived at Omaha as a new father. He hoped to make his fourth Olympics, but the eight-time medalist failed to qualify for the final of the 100 free and came up just short in the 50.

The two shortest races of the trials were followed by the final event of the eight-day meet, the men's 1,500 free.

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and his work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil react after the women's 50 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP PhotoJeff Roberson)

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Caeleb Dressel reacts after winning the men's 50 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP PhotoJeff Roberson)

Caeleb Dressel rparticipates in the men's 50 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP PhotoJeff Roberson)

Caeleb Dressel reacts after winning the men's 50 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP PhotoJeff Roberson)

FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 file photo, Nathan Adrian of United States competes in men's swimming 50m freestyle at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. Adrian is competing in the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, June 13, 2021 (AP PhotoFernando Llano, File)