Thorpe to Miss Mare Nostrum Series

SYDNEY, Australia, May 25. ORIGINALLY scheduled to compete with the Australian National Team during the Barcelona stop (June 10-11) on the Mare Nostrum Series, Ian Thorpe has put the clamps on his return to competition. Thorpe has been plagued by various maladies, including glandular fever that prevented the five-time Olympic gold medalist from competing at the Commonwealth Games. A broken hand is his latest injury.

According to a story by Nicole Jeffery in The Australian, National Team Head Coach Alan Thompson watched Thorpe during a recent workout before a final decision was made. Thorpe is now focusing on competing at the Santa Clara International grand prix meet from June 22-26. That competition is expected to draw a star-studded field.

"He's much improved from when I saw him last," Thompson said in the newspaper article. "He did about 45 minutes on the stationary bike and treadmill and then four or five kilometers in the pool and he was pretty free with his stroking, but he's a little bit away from racing as he would like to do. He hasn't had enough training under his belt and thought that he would be better off training at home rather than traveling around Europe with us. He wants to get a solid training block together to make up for the hiccups he has had."

Although Thorpe hasn’t raced at the international level since the Athens Olympics, he is confident he’ll be in top form for next year’s World Championships, slated for Melbourne in March.