Stevens may stand aside for Thorpe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stevens may stand aside for Thorpe

By Janelle Miles and Tom Wald 03/04/2004 09:20:02 PM Comments (0)

Craig Stevens has left open the possibility of standing aside to allow Ian Thorpe to contest the 400m freestyle at the Athens Olympics.

After finishing second to Grant Hackett in tonight's 1500m freestyle final at the Olympic trials, Stevens told the crowd he would go away and think about his Olympic program in the lead up to Athens.

The 23-year-old has had to be cocooned from the controversy surrounding Thorpe's disqualification from the 400m after a blunder on the blocks last weekend.

Hackett and Stevens earned the right to contest the event in Athens after finishing first and second in the eight-lap final.

But Stevens has been under enormous pressure to stand aside for Thorpe, the Olympic champion and world recordholder, if he finished second in his best event, the 1500m.

The crowd at the Sydney Aquatic Centre booed when Stevens was asked for the first time whether he intended to contest the 400m in Athens.

The 23-year-old, who received the loudest reception of any swimmer at the trials when he touched second in tonight's 1500m, was non-committal.

"I will take a week off and think about it," he said.

"I know people have their opinions."

Stevens has had to take sleeping tablets just to get through one of the most emotional weeks of his life.

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