Ian Thorpe's first attempt back in the world of competitive swimming is in the books. As the dust settles, let's evaluate how it went.
- Thorpe was considerably faster in the Tokyo World Cup leg than he was in Singapore and Beijing.
- In Tokyo he was able to hold on much better in the second half of races showing that his 'race fitness' was improving. In theory, the more competitions he does, the better this will become.
- Thorpe, his coach Gennadi Touretski and Australian head coach Leigh Nugent were making all the right noises at each world cup stop, stating that the comeback was still on course.
- His freestyle stroke still looks more suited to the 200m Free, which we are yet to see. At this stage his best bet at Olympic qualification looks to be the 4 x 200m Free relay.
- We've just seen Thorpe at his rustiest and he was still only half a second down on established guys like Alain Bernard in heats. For all we know, Thorpe could have dropped another second in the 100m Free final had he qualified.
- Thorpe still has 4 long months of training ahead of him before Australian Trials.
- Thorpe only has 4 short months of training ahead of him before Australian Trials.
- Thorpe still has A LONG way to go. He failed to final in his two best swims, Tokyo's 100m Free and 100m Fly. In the 100m Free he was a full 2 seconds behind the eventual winner Kyle Richardson's time.
- Richardson sums up his problem. There might not be a more difficult relay team to make than the reigning world champion Aussie 4 x 100m Free team.
- He's going to need to work even harder on his starts and turns. 4 months
- One comment that Thorpe made stuck out like a sore thumb - "This week has been challenging, I wish I could have done it with no-one watching - but that's unfortunately not the case." This is the same guy that retired from the sport because of the intense media scrutiny he was under. Hopefully the same demons that haunted him in previous years aren't resurfacing before the comeback has really taken shape.
Thorpedo's Times (best times and splits in bold)
100m IM (Heat) - 56.74 (26.14 / 30.60)
100m IM (Final) - 56.33 (25.14 / 31.19)
100m Fly (Heat) - 54.09 (25.27 / 28.82)
100m Free (Heat) - 50.21 (24.00 / 26.21)
100m IM (Heat) - 56.70 (26.22 / 30.48)
100m Fly (Heat) -54.35 (25.29 / 29.06)
100m Free (Heat) - 49.45 (24.08 / 25.37)
100m Fly (Heats) - 53.59 (25.11 / 28.48)