Ian Thorpedo back training, comeback possible: Australia's media

16:53, January 09, 2011      

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Australian multiple Olympic champion, Ian Thorpe is back training in the pool and he has not ruled out a return to competition in time for the London 2012 Olympics, Australia's media reported on Sunday.

Thorpedo retired from the pool in 2006 after garnering five Olympic gold medals, setting 13 world records and obtaining 11 world championship golds.

He won the 200- and 400-meter freestyle in the 2004 Athens Olympics in his last major international meet.

However, Thorpedo's long time agent David Flaskas told Sydney' s Sun Herald newspaper the 28-year-old was now back in training, although he was more interested in maintaining his fitness at this stage than looking at a return to racing.

A weight training accident and then a car crash at the Beijing Olympics in China, where Thorpedo was a commentator, required him to return to the pool to rehabilitate a shoulder injury.

Flaskas said Thorpe's primary reason for training was to stay fit for all the world travel he does as a young ambassador for the World Economic Forum and his business commitments.

Flaskas said the pair had not spoken about next year's London Olympics, and Thorpe had not notified Swimming Australia that he wanted to compete again. "I still think he's got competitive juices but he also understands what it takes to compete at the level he competes at," he told Herald on Sunday.

"There's a lot of water to pass under the bridge but the one thing he is doing is enjoying it and, as he has said before, 'You never say never'."

Inspired by the comeback of good friend Geoff Huegill, Thorpedo began more regular training at the beginning of summer.

"I never really stopped swimming, I'm just doing more of it now, and I'm really enjoying getting into shape," Thorpe told News Limited on Sunday.

Meanwhile, two-time Olympic champion Kieren Perkins said if Thorpe did decide to return he had no doubt he would get back to the top.

"Absolutely. A guy of that quality and standard, there's no question about his ability, it really will all come down to the time and effort he's willing to put in," Perkins told Australia Associated Press on Sunday.

"If he's committed to doing it I don't see any reason why he can't get back to the top."

However, Sun Herald reported that if Thorpe does want to try out for the 2012 Games he will need to make his intentions known shortly as an athlete must be registered with the World Anti- Doping Authority for nine months before being allowed to race.

Source: Xinhua
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