Monday, 31 October 2011

Ian Thorpe's Return Imminent: 5 Things to Watch & Predictions

Australian legend Ian Thorpe will return to the competition pool on Friday for the first time since 2006. Choosing to swim the 100m Fly and 100m IM, Thorpe will give us just 25 tantalising metres to judge his Freestyle in Singapore.

5 Things to Watch Out For

1) New Freestyle technique - Watch out for a new technique with higher elbows and increased hip rotation.
2) Butterfly speed - Geoff Huegill is nervous about racing Thorpe in the 100 Fly, highlighting Gennadi Touretski's love of training his swimmers with an emphasis on butterfly.  For more, read David Rieder's article.
3) Physique - Thorpe has never had a typical swimmers physique and always had a big frame, not that you could ever see it in his black suit. In Singapore we will see what kind of physical shape Thorpe is in.
4) Technical aspects - Potentially the X Factor that will determine if his comeback will be a success. The world has moved on since 2006 on starts, turns and underwaters. Thorpe will need to catch up quickly to be competitive on the biggest stage.
5) Mentality - Thorpe fell out of love with swimming but has recently spoke of his love for the sport returning. Touretski wants him swimming with freedom in Singapore, so look for Thorpe to be enjoying racing again.


100m Fly - 51.95
100m IM - 53.50

Heats starts at 9am Singapore time (1am London time). Finals begin at 5:30pm Singapore time (9:30am London time).

Live Video Here or Here
Start Lists & Results


  1. Watching that (BBC Sport?) video of Thorpe training in Switzerland I did notice his elbows were pointing up very high indeed :)

    I think he'll make the final in both events at Singapore but miss the medals.

  2. I tried to highlight in my article how well Thorpe's 100 fly and 100 IM could go this weekend or how bad they could be. We really don't know. On top of that, I have no idea who is even going to Singapore (the Asian stops tend to be more-sparsely attended than those in Europe), so Thorpe could win both easily, or he could be well back in the pack. And honestly, that's what is so exciting about Ian Thorpe - the mystique associated with his name. I guarantee that the other swimmers will be extremely nervous just to race him, even though he has never swum these races seriously and hasn't raced in five years. This should be exciting.

  3. DR here are the provisional entries for Singapore & Beijing:

  4. I think those prediction times are too optimistic.

    I cannot see how Thorpe can go sub 52 fly SCM right now, or sub 54 in 100 IM. I maybe wrong, but 6 months, even with Gennady is not enough to reverse the 6 years of idle lifestyle. Thorpe should have unretired last year.

  5. As I have predicted, the predictions were way too optimistic.

  6. He really looked awful. He actually got dropped in the free in the IM. Not a good sign.

  7. Perhaps post altitude sluggishness? It can take a toll .

    THe 25.1 fly /back was fine .

    That would please me if I were he.

    He might have been better returning to Australia for a block of club meets such as Magnussen is doing.

  8. What has been overlooked is the fast 100s won by the 17 tear old Macs.

    With all the huff about Ian & Libby these 2 are the bolters for the 2nd 100 spots.

    I can see a 48.3 & 53,3.

  9. I love your site, love your articles, but this one sounds like a MAMA Thorpe. No way he could swim these times you listed.

    Thorpe made a complete different comeback from Hansen, Torres, Beard. He decided to have all the spotlights, be a part of a big show, and will pay for that. Price is too high.

    Not sure if he can handle.

  10. I'm not sure that its his fault. He is probably the biggest name in the sport since Spitz and retired before the world could see his full potential. Its natural that he's going to get much more spotlight than other people. Also consider this, half a year before their announced retirement, there weren't rumors circulating about the return of Hansen, Torres or Beard... At least not to the extent where they would've been papparzzi-ed. Imagine Phelps seen running to training in late 2014. That's would it would be like.

    I honestly think that Team Australia has become the deepest sprint freestyle nation on the planet. France, atm, seems only capable of putting 5 men who could put up times that would keep them running for the gold medal (although its a quality 4/5, we all know which guy I'm leaving out). Australia has 6 guys who have been 48.6 or faster in the last year (and put up relay splits that indicate each has a 48.3 or faster). McEvoy is putting up times that suggest he is currently a 49.1 or so LC. Put in taper and 4 months, and he could be 48mid. Oh yea, there's Thorpe, but it looks like he's going to have to be 48.5 to make the team.

    On the other hand, I would estimate that he'd swim around a 51flat in the SC 100free (5s difference between 100free and IM times based on other competitors), which would put him 52high, 53low atm. hmmm

  11. Thorpe is a much better LC swimmer than SC

  12. Thorpe is even a better swimmer if there's no walls.