SYDNEY, Australia, November 11. ORIGINALLY scheduled to return to the competitive scene next month, Ian Thorpe is expected to compete at next week’s FINA World Cup stop in Sydney, thus ending 15 months of racing inactivity. Thorpe’s plan was revealed today in a story in The Australian by Nicole Jeffery.
Thorpe has not raced in a competitive atmosphere since winning gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens in the 200 and 400 freestyle events. The world-record holder in both of those disciplines, Thorpe is slated to swim the 100 free at the Sydney World Cup meet, according to his coach, Tracey Menzies. During his absence, Thorpe missed last summer’s World Championships in Montreal. His primary focus is Beijing, site of the 2008 Olympics.
"He just wants to get back in and have a race and get used to that again," Menzies said in the newspaper article. "He seems to be going not too bad, so it will be good to get in and have a hit-out."
Although not swimming competitively, Thorpe has been training since taking six months away from the pool following Athens. At the World Cup stop, Thorpe is slated to square off with South Africa’s Ryk Neethling. Thorpe has indicated he will swim the 100 and 200 free events at next year’s Commonwealth Games, but is still deciding whether to tackle the 400 free, his prime event.