Thorpe's Return Nets 6th-Place Finish in Singapore

The return of the great Ian Thorpe, which was surrounded by much hype and fanfare, led to a huge emotional rollercoaster in the British and Australian media when he finished 6th in his only Day 1 swim, the 100 IM, at the Singapore stop of the 2011 FINA World Cup. (The Swim Brief nailed that feeling with another classic Tom Duke piece).

Thorpe touched in 56.33 in the finals, which was three-seconds behind Chad le Clos, the event winner, in 53.03, and that time leaves him ranked right around 60th in the world this season.

Through some finagling of times using Power Points tables, and giving some credit for the fact that he’s a freestyler not an IM’er, I’d put the equivalent 100 free (which is his goal event for the Olympics) around a 49.6 in SCM, or 51.0 in LCM. Though that’s a totally unscientific conversion, it’s probably in the right range, and is none-too-shabby of a result. Remember, as Thorpe expressed prior to the meet, this is off of 5 years without competing. Not just a year or two, but 5, so it’s hard to be disappointed with the result.

Thorpe did demonstrate that he’s found some fast-twitch muscle – on the fly/back front-half of the race, he was right in the thick for a top-4 finish with an opening split of 25.14. It was only on the back-half (31.19) where he slipped all the way to 7th, more than two-seconds slower on the way home than the main pack.

For anybody to be disappointed in this swim is unfair. Nobody aside from him and his coach had a clue of what to expect from him in terms of time, and even they probably were no more than 60-70% confident in it. I think throughout this World Cup, as long as Thorpe is continuing to make finals and get afternoon swims, the results are satisfactory. I’d look to a January meet as a better indicator of where he’s at headed into Australian Trials.

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Absurd time for Cameron McEvoy!47.33 at seventeen?It will be tough to beat Aussie squad in a near future…


On the other hand, given his race inexperience, I wouldn’t be surprised if he drops a full second in his next finals race. He lost over a body length on his godawful breaststroke. So there’s definitely room for optimism. I don’t think he’s at 51.0 in LC freestyle, at least, with the workload he’s putting on currently.
I do wonder how rested he is this week. But I’d imagine we’ll know by next weekend.
(In October, we saw Phelps get faster between meets, presumably by resting more in between)


just saw on omegatiming that Ian didn’t make the finals of the 100 FLY this morning…

he placed 11th in the prelims w/a time of 54.09 which was 2.59 sec behind Jason D’s 51.50 top qualifying time 🙁

Libby at least qualified 5th in the 100 FREE @ 55.00 (Emma M was fastest @ 53.57)… and 5th in the 50 FLY @ 27.26 (behind Li T’s 25.83).

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!