SYDNEY, Australia, September 22. ALTHOUGH his coach indicated the likelihood that he would concentrate on the 100 and 200 freestyles at next year’s Commonwealth Games, Ian Thorpe hasn’t ruled out swimming the 400 free, an event he’s dominated for close to a decade. Earlier in the week, Thorpe’s coach, Tracey Menzies, declared that Thorpe was not ready to contest the eight-lap freestyle.
But, in an article by Nicole Jeffery in The Australian, Thorpe did not rule out swimming the 400 free, where he’s the world-record holder and a two-time Olympic champion. Thorpe has been removed from major competition since the Athens Olympics and will return to the prime stage at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
In the article, Thorpe reaffirmed that his main focus will revolve around the 100 and 200 free events, and matchups with South African standouts Roland Schoeman and Ryk Neethling. But, Thorpe stated that he would consider swimming the 400 and has not ruled out a foray into the 50 free.
"I intend to swim the 100 and 200 but whether I swim the 400 or not, I don't know,” he said. “And the same for the 50. I don't know which events will be right for me, and I am not going to rush it.
Thorpe’s long-term focus is the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and he has indicated a desire to establish himself as a sprinter, similar to what he accomplished in the middle-distance events. Menzies told The Australian that there’s a chance Thorpe will compete in December at the NSW Championships, a meet which would mark his return to competition.