Ian Thorpe ‘nervous’ about return to international scene
Ian Thorpe due to make long-awaited return to competitive international swimming on Friday
Five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe is set to make his long-awaited return to competitive international swimming at the World Cup in Singapore on Friday.
The 29-year-old Australian retired in 2006 citing disillusionment with the sport but confirmed earlier this year he announced his return with a view to London 2012.
Thorpe’s return to the sport sets up a potential mouth-watering London 2012 clash with Michael Phelps in a potential repeat of the Race of the Century in 2004, where the Australian claimed 200m freestyle gold.
But since confirming his retirement Thorpe, who compete in the 100m butterfly and 100m individual medley in Singapore, has since hinted he will struggle to return to the form that saw him collect five Olympic gold medals at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.
“I am on track and I’m swimming well,” said Thorpe, who will also compete at World Cup meetings in Tokyo and Beijing later this month.
I have to kind of remind myself I’m the guy who hasn’t swum for five years and I forget it from time to time. It’s my first time back in the pool and it’s not going to be easy but it becomes an important step for what I’m trying to do next year.
“I’m a little bit nervous that I’ll forget how to swim, which may sound strange but I haven’t competed in a long time.
“I’m excited and I’m anxious about it. There’s pressure as people would like to see me swim well. I’m sure after the first competition I’ll be relaxed about that but the first race may be a bit odd.
“I think that give or take five per cent, I’m on track for where I would like to be at this stage of the year.”
After making his competitive international return this month, Thorpe will have just over three months to reach peak condition for Australia’s Olympic trials in March 2012.