Janet Evans (R) is enjoying making a splash two decades on from her first Olympic success [GALLO/GETTY] 

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Janet Evans' comeback continued to gather pace on Sunday as the 40-year-old mother of two qualified for the US Olympic trials in the 800m freestyle.

Evans, who made the trials cut-off in the 400m freestyle on Friday, won her heat in the 800m free in 8min 49.05sec

That was under the standard of 8:50.49 needed to swim at the US trials in Omaha, Nebraska, in June, where she will try to secure a berth for the London Olympics.

"Made my Olympic trials cut in the 800!" Evans tweeted.

"Pleased with my progress but there is work that remains to be done. Thank you all for your support!!"

Evans was 17 when she won three gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, in the 400m individual medley, 400m freestyle and 800m free.

She also won the 800m free at the 1992 Games in Barcelona before she retired in 1996 after a disappointing Atlanta Olympics campaign.

Such was Evans' dominance of the distance freestyle that her 400m free world record, set in 1988, stood for 18 years before it was broken in 2006 and she held the 800m free world record for 19 years.

Evans is in largely uncharted waters in her ambitious comeback bid in the demanding 800m free, but the outgoing swimmer was characteristically upbeat on Sunday.

"Coach just reminded me that at the 1996 Olympics I swam an 8:38 for 6th place," she said on Twitter.

"Today I swam an 8:49. Who says 40 yr olds can't swim an 800?"

Source: AFP