And finally, Australian Ian Thorpe has broken through. In the prelims of the 200 free at the Victorian Open State Championships in Melbourne, he posted a 1:51.05 to earn the 4th-seed headed into the evening finals.
For the first time in his comeback, Thorpe will be swimming in the lead-pack, thanks to a time that is a half-second better than he was a month ago in Italy.
Granted, the field was much thinner for this 200 free than it was for yesterday’s 100, but it will still be interesting to see how well Thorpe’s killer instincts kick in when he’s got a chance at a win late in this race. Based on what we’ve seen from him so far, it wouldn’t seem as though he’d perform as well in finals, but crazy things can happen when veteran swimmers get in the heat of a race.
The top seed went to Nicholas Ffrost in 1:49.91, with his 17-year old teammate Cameron McEvoy touching 3rd in 1:50.71.
The other most intriguing final lined up is the women’s 100 fly. British swimmer (who lives in Australia) Ellen Gandy took the top seed in 58.86, with World Championships silver-medalist Alicia Coutts just behind her in 59.29. That final is really stacked, moving on to Yolane Kukla, Alice Mills, Marieke Guehrer, and Libby Trickett.