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Thorpe Goes for Seven Gold at World Champs -- March 5, 2003 Ian Thorpe Flying through the water.

SYDNEY, Maarch 5. IAN Thorpe, the Australian
"Thorpedo," will be aiming to win a Spitzian seven gold medals at the World Championships in Barcelona this July, not the eight he had earlier proclaimed as his goal.

Thorpe, Swimming World's male "World Swimmer of the Year" last year and four of the last five years, told SwimInfo he plans on competing in the 100, 200 and 400m freestyle and the 200m individual medley
at the Australian Nationals, which begin on March 22 in Sydney. The meet will also serve as a selection meet for the "Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool" in Indianapolis as well as the World Championships.

Thorpe holds the world record in the 200 and 400m freestyle. In January, he swam his first competitive 200 IM in several years, albeit short course, at a World Cup meet. He won in 1:56.00.

In addition to the four individual events the 20 year-old Thorpe plans to contest, he also expects to swim on all three Aussie relays. Apparently Thorpe has dropped plans to swim either the 50 or 800 free.

Speaking of his expected program of events at the Trials, Thorpe said: "It will look like hell, but it's a challenge and I enjoy challenges so I'll have probably seven or eight races going into the world championships and when I get there I'll be prepared well."

Asked whether he expected to set world records at the Nationals, he gave his standard response.

"I hope to swim well," he said. "I don't know if that means I'll break world records, but I hope to be swimming at my best so I guess it's possible.

"Each event I approach equally," he said. "I don't try and favor any race, so I'll go in there and give it my best shot in each one."