Sydney - Ian Thorpe's hopes of a fairytale comeback turned into an even worse nightmare Sunday when he missed his last chance to swim for Australia at the London Olympics.
The five-time Olympic champion failed to make the semi-final of the 100-metre freestyle race.
On Saturday the 29-year-old made the semis for the 200-metres freestyle but was too slow to progress to the final.
"The fairytale just turned into a nightmare," Thorpe said after his sixth-placing in the 200 metres. "I'm terribly disappointed with that swim."
The 200 metres provided his best chance of going to London as a competitor rather than a commentator and his failure in the 100 metres came as no surprise.//DPA
Thorpe, who began his comeback in February 2011 after a break of five years, had performed so poorly in his build-up to the Olympic trials that his only hope for inclusion was as a relay swimmer.
Thorpe said he would continue swimming, possibly targeting next year's world championships in Barcelona and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Australian head coach Leigh Nugent said it was possible Thorpe could continue swimming until the Rio Olympics in 2016.
"I'm still swimming," Thorpe said. "When I started this, I wanted to get back in the pool, I wanted to race and I wanted to go to the Olympics. I still want to do all of those things."
Nugent held out the possibility that Thorpe would shoot for the 400 metres. Thorpe said: "I won't rule it out. I'll consider doing it."//DPA