Torres Sizzles at Italian Meet

ROME, Italy, June 8. LOOK out, Dara Torres appears to be well ahead of schedule in her chase for a fifth Olympic berth. Actually, she might be the fastest sprinter in the United States arsenal at the present moment, at the ripe age of 40. Yes, that's how impressive Torres was at the Trofeo Sette Colli Meet, held in Rome.

Racing the 50-meter freestyle, Torres finished in second place to Swedish sprint star Therese Alshammar, with both women producing impressive times. Alshammar prevailed in 24.54, a championship record, with Torres checking in at 24.93. Indeed, Torres cracked the 25-second barrier, an accomplishment that should turn some heads with the Olympic Trials a year away.

In recent months, Torres has produced a number of stellar short-course times. But, this effort in Rome certainly drops a hammer to the likes of Amanda Weir and Kara Lynn Joyce. A four-time Olympian (1984, 1988, 1992 and 2000), Torres is making this comeback as a first-time mother and at an age that isn't exactly associated with world-class athletic excellence.

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