Thorpe to stay a sprinter in pool - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thorpe to stay a sprinter in pool

By Dave Donaghy 10/05/2006 10:10:25 PM Comments (0)

Champion swimmer Ian Thorpe has all but ruled out a return to longer distances in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Thorpe revealed he was reluctant to add the 400m freestyle event - which he dropped prior to this year's Commonwealth Games - to his sprint-oriented program.

The 23-year-old elected to ditch his pet 400m event in a bid to concentrate on the shorter 100m distance.

It's a situation that's unlikely to change after a strain of glandular fever robbed him of an appearance in Melbourne.

Thorpe said he would discuss his pre-Olympic program with coach Tracy Menzies in October but doubted whether longer distances would feature in it.

"Shorter's almost more definite than longer at the moment," a slightly out-of-shape Thorpe told AAP.

"I've got to race first in some minor meets and then probably around October we'll make our decision on what I'll be swimming in the next 12 months.

"It will be based towards Beijing."

Thorpe returned to training in Sydney last week but has increased his work load at the national youth sprint camp in Townsville this week.

However, his recovery from the illness that kept him out of the Games, as well as a broken hand suffered at home last month, has stunted his progress.

Thorpe said he would continue to ease himself back into the pool and pleaded with local journalists meeting him for the first time not to shake his hand too hard.

"I have a lot of titanium in there now," he said.

"My hand's still a bit sore in the pool but I'm on the right track now.

"I think I've got my bad luck out of the way."

Thorpe said he would target a three-meet series in Europe next month as his return to competitive swimming before setting up base on the west coast of the United States.

"I'm not at competition speed or form at the moment so I'm trying to make up for lost time," he said.

"But you're also wary of trying to do it too quickly because it will have an adverse effect.

"I hope and I think that in three months I'll be swimming well again."

Thorpe admitted there was a chance of suffering a relapse of the illness if he rushed his return but said there was "nothing conclusive" to prove so.

He will be joined in camp in Townsville next week by former Australian swim team captain Grant Hackett, who will return from a shoulder reconstruction at a Grand Prix swim meet in Brisbane this weekend.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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