This weekend in Zurich will see the return of Ian Thorpe to an event he dominated for the best part of a generation, the 400m Freestyle. In his last competition before the Australian Olympic Trials, Thorpedo will compete in both the 100m and 400m Freestyle.
While this development is being put forward as simply an experiment for racing, it does raise some interesting questions.
Could Thorpe make the Australia team on the 400m Free?
As strange as it sounds given his focus on sprinting, the 400m Free might turn out to offer Thorpe a
It is also worth mentioning that Leigh Nugent didn't 100% rule out the move up to 400m. "The 400m is more about experimenting with his racing, not so much about what he would be intending to do at trials... It's pretty much off the agenda (for the trials). But he's been going pretty well. He has been pretty happy with his progress."
'Pretty much off the agenda' does not equal 'Off the agenda'.
Would Thorpe have a chance to win the 400m Free in London?
Sun Yang, Park Tae-Hwan, Yannick Agnel and Paul Biedermann are too good for that to happen.
What will the 400 Free tell us about his 200 Free?
So far Thorpe has been struggling at the end of his races, whether they be over 100m or 200m. Seeing him race a 400m Free should give us some clues to his conditioning in his last competition before Olympic Trials.
Unless the entire comeback has been a smoke and mirror show, Thorpe needs to show increased endurance at the end of his races. Chances are if he struggles in the 400m Free in Zurich, he is going to struggle in the 200m Free at Trials, his best chance at making the Olympic team.
What should we make of Leigh Nugent's optimism?
The last time we saw a story about Thorpe and Nugent, it focused on Thorpedo's lack of fitness, motivation and confidence. Now, less than four weeks on, everything is smelling of roses?
Thorpe's been going 'pretty well, he has been pretty happy with his progress'.
Well, I will still be pretty surprised if he makes the Aussie Olympic team. I hope I'm wrong there though.
Why hasn't there been a vote on this blog for such a long time?
Good point. New vote launched. Will Ian Thorpe make the Australian Olympic Team. Yes/No? You decide.
(Hat tip to The Swimmers Daily for the Thorpe story)