And so it goes, when one door opens, a window to the right cracks slightly. The Australian media is burning up this morning with reports that Ian Thorpe has done a bit of a back-pedal on his aims to focus full efforts on the 100 free for London.
In the same breath that Ian Thorpe all-but ruled out an appearance at January’s Summer Swim Series (where organizers are hoping to lure Phelps away from the cold Baltimore winter to the warmer Australian summer), he told reporters that it was too early to rule out any race, including the 200 free that he has had so much of his career success in. This is big news for swim fans. Combined with Bob Bowman’s announcement last week that Phelps wasn’t eyeing the 100 free in London, Thorpe’s statements about skipping the Summer Swim Series made it appear as though the two biggest names in the history of swimming would miss each other in this second go-around.
Thorpe accompanied his statements about looking at the 200 free with the understanding that there’s no guarantees that he (or Phelps for that matter) will qualify and contend for the title in London. His tone, however, indicated that he was giving serious consideration to the race.
As for his own training, Thorpe said that things were progressing, but that he mentally has good days and bad days. He’s still not back to his old self, but he’s on track with his original timetable. His appearance at the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton showed that he has returned himself to physical fitness (as the adage goes, one must once again look like an elite athlete before they can once again look like an elite swimmer). He recently dropped the scales below 100 kilos (220 pounds), which is a major hurdle for him and puts him back at his racing weight from much of his career.