Australia’s Thorpe set for London Olympics comeback

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SYDNEY - Five times Olympic champion Ian Thorpe is expected to announce his return to competitive swimming and a bid to make the Australian team for next year’s London Games, news reports said Tuesday.

The 28-year-old, who retired in November 2006 but has been training hard in Sydney pools, will speak to the media Wednesday.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Thorpe, who would need to register with the ruling body FINA by the end of May to be eligible to compete at the London Olympic trials in March 2012, has told friends that he would be returning to competitive swimming.

Thorpe left the sport when illness and injury put him out of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

Thorpe, who has lost weight and looks in good shape, said last month that he was enjoying swimming again.

“I never really stopped swimming, I’m just doing more of it now and I’m really enjoying getting into shape,” Thorpe said.

Michael Bohl, Stephanie Rice’s coach, said last year that a Thorpe comeback would be a success.

“He’s one of the best freestylers I’ve ever seen. He has an absolutely perfect stroke,” Bohl said.

Thorpe’s best times in his chosen disciplines have all been eclipsed. Brazilian Cesar Cielo Filho holds the 100 metres freestyle in 46.91 seconds while Germany’s Paul Biedermann holds the 200m and 400m in 1 minute 42.00 seconds and 3:40.07 minutes, respectively.

Filed under: Olympic Games

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