|Typical Thorpe, no-one even close to him|
Ah, nothing like some fresh Ian Thorpe comeback rumours to kick off 2011 in style.
Speed Endurance readers rejoice. You asked for it, and it looks like you're going to get it. Last month 138 of you voted for Ian Thorpe as the swimmer you wanted to see comeback the most. I guess Thorpe reads the blog too...
Here are the Thorpe comeback facts to come out today:-
- Thorpedo has been swimming four or five times a week 'for fitness' with former training partner Craig Stevens.
- According to Stevens, "the technique was there, the stroke was there and everything was going really well."
- Australian national head coach Leigh Nugent has been providing him with training programs.
- He is doing more swimming now than ever since retiring in 2006 and has lost 10kg.
Back in May last year I looked at what form a Thorpe comeback could take. Not too much has really changed since then.
- I still don't think Thorpe will be able to comeback in the 400m Free, the sheer volume of training he would need to do would be too much after 4 years out of the water.
- Thorpe would only swim the individual 200m Free if he had a realistic shot at a medal (ie. managing to get back down to 1:44 or 1:45). There is no way he would want to damage his legacy in the sport by finishing 8th in the 200m Free final in London.
- The most likely events for him will be the 4 x 100m Free and 4 x 200m Free relays, with a possible individual 200m Free thrown in if all goes to plan. To make the Aussie team he probably needs to get down to a low/mid-48 on the 100m (his best time is 48.56 from the Athens Olympics) and around 1:46 or 1:47-low to make the 200m Free team (his best time 1:44.06 from Worlds in 2001).
- Even with Thorpe back to his best, the chances of Australia winning either relay are remote at best, however, he would certainly make Australia strong medal contenders, especially in the 4 x 200m Free. In both relays the US men are still favourites. In the 4 x 100m Free they will face strong challenges from France and Russia, whilst in the 4 x 200m Free it will likely come down to a head to head between USA and Russia.
Eamon Sullivan - 48.52 (9th in the world)
Kyle Richardson - 48.69 (15th in the world)
Matthew Abood - 48.91 (25th in the world)
James Magnussen - 48.93 (27th in the world)
Thomas Fraser-Holmes - 1:47.04 (11th in the world)
Kenrick Monk - 1:47.37 (16th in the world)
Nicholas Ffrost - 1:47.48 (19th in the world)
Patrick Murphy - 1:48.30 (36th in the world)