Thorpe Satisfied with Training Progress

SYDNEY, Australia, September 21. ALTHOUGH his return to international competition will not occur until next year’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Ian Thorpe is moving along with his training. The Aussie sensation has taken the year off from competition, thus missing the World Championships in Montreal in July.

"My training is going exceptionally well," Thorpe told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I'm fit and I have been for quite some time. I'm looking forward to racing."

Last year, Thorpe won Olympic gold in the 200 and 400 freestyle events, then took a sabbatical from the pool. Thorpe did return to training before the World Champs, but watched the event on television. Under the tutelage of Tracey Menzies, Thorpe has enhanced his training program, adding boxing to his regimen. Thorpe also took up skiing on a trip to Switzerland.

Thorpe is still formulating his program for Melbourne, but is looking harder at the 100 and 200 freestyles than he is at swimming the 400 free. The 100 free is among the deepest events on the male side with the likes of South Africans Roland Schoeman and Ryk Neethling expected to swim at the Commonwealth Games.

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