ROME — It was only three weeks ago that Aaron Peirsol added to his legend lowering the world record in the 100-meter backstroke.
But at the FINA World Championships Monday, the former Newport Harbor High standout received a crushing blow: he failed to even reach the finals of the 100 back.
According to the Associated Press, Peirsol, who is also a two-time Olympic champ in the 100 back, wanted to save energy for the final swim. But that turned out to be a huge mistake. He was knocked out in the semifinals, finishing in 53.22 seconds, almost a full second behind the top qualifier, Japan’s Junya Koga (52.39). Peirsol was behind a tenth of a second from the eighth spot, the last that advances to the final.