Monday, 22 August 2011

Ian Thorpe Aiming To Improve His 'Perfect Stroke'

It's been a while since the last Ian Thorpe update, so here is your Thorpedo fix. The Aussie superstar and his coach Gennadi Touretski have changed his 'perfect' technique, according to The Australian's Nicole Jeffrey.

Key points:

• Touretski is changing Thorpe's technique to that of a sprinter as opposed to his previous style, which was "perfect for the 400m" according to the Russian coach.

• His technique now looks like a hybrid of his old stroke and that of god the sprint tsar Alex Popov (see below).

• The technical changes - more hip rotation, higher elbows.

• Thorpe is swimming 50km a week as well as doing dry land sessions for strength and conditioning. In a new development, Thorpe will also play tennis twice a week to help Australia's shaky tennis team improve his co-ordination.

• He will swim at November's world cup meets in Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo. He will swim Freestyle races in Singapore and then experiment with other events in Bejing and Tokyo. The move away from Freestyle in Beijing in Tokyo is aimed at racing with freedom and also not to show all his cards too early.

• According to Touretski "I think potentially, with his power and talent, there's no limit on how fast he can swim."


  1. Thanks for that.

    Yes Thorpe really went out to perfect a style that blew away the 200/400 records. 10 years on all the massive advantages of technology & internationality of swimming hve not surpassed it.

    I can remember when freestyle was his weakest stroke . Ian still has many age group records in Fly Im & back. At one time Jim Piper was faster than Ian in freestyle & Ian the better at breastroke!

    I have been lucky enough to swim in the next lane to a languid Popov rehabbig his knee & got a look u/water.

    Funnily enough I was comparing Popov to thorpe's entry & timing -thinking that Thorpe would need to shorten his front end 'glide' if he were to sprint .

  2. I will add this here for general interest re changing strokes mechanics/philosophy for a seasoned champion.

    In 2008 I was at a casual (stealth ) Mitt Nelms lesson held on a Fijian island . I was staying on another island & it was so wonderful to just swim the 2kms over to attend a workshop .T he swimmer doing the demos was none other than Shane Gould.

    Mitts philosophy that day was on natural swimming motions & I was pleased to see Shane swimming as she did in her earlier stages before they tried to change her stroke & impose psycholgical pressures.

    In 2011 I was pleased to see Dana win the fly . Dana credited her improvements to Mitt & her surf swimming in Australia.

    Dana was at the island workshop that day in 08 . Dana said of Shane "She swims just like a dolphin '.I want to be like that.

    And so she did !

  3. Thanks for the insight.

    For swimming next to Popov and seeing his stroke from that close-up, sir, you have my respect!

    Talking of Milt Nelms, I wonder if Thorpe will use any of the things he picked up from the horse whisperer back in 2007?...

  4. I did not hear any talk of Mitt & Thorpe. We were all there for the 18k relay swim from a resort on the mainland to Beachcomber Island plus /or the 2k beach swim .

    Swimming people who love swimming understand. However there was a MC joke about Mitt doing Thorpie in at the intro dinner.

    I can't really remember what Mitt said -I asked him a question but I did not think much of the answer - but remember it was a stealth session & not abetted by his company.

    I did have a good conversation with Dana & Alison Wagner . When they introduced Alison at the Dinner as the Silver 96 medallist I wanted o stand up 7 shout 'THE GOLD MEDALLIST. but decorum rools.

    I did tell her privately on behalf of all fans we know she is the rightful winner.

  5. I is a girl . I got lots of sneak laps next to top swimmers because males are too scared to be compared to the champs & go to another lane.

    Or they swim so fast that they do themselves in after 400 mtres & have to exit before they collapse.Of course the champs are only on drills.