Five time Olympic gold medallist (200 Sydney x 3 and 2004 Athens x 2); Ian Thorpe has said he expects to fail in his bid for glory at this summer’s London Games.
Thorpe has been nowhere near his world record beating best since returning to swimming in February 2011 following a self imposed four year hiatus.
The Sydney native, who cites winning gold as a 17 year-old at his home Olympics as his greatest achievement, will attempt to qualify for a third Olympics at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide next week, but is preparing to miss out.
“The most realistic outcome of this is that I will most likely fail,” he told Australian TV station Network Ten.
Thorpe claimed 11 world titles and broke 13 middle distance swimming world records when at the peak of his powers during the first few years of the new Millennium, but does not expect to come anywhere near those standards when taking part in the 100 and 200metre freestyle at the Australian Olympic trials over the next few weeks:
“I wish I had another six months to do this,” he said. “I wish I had more time to do it. I have to be swimming well. I have to be swimming fast as well in both of my races.”
Thorpe also confirmed that whatever happens, he will not retire from swimming immediately after the London Olympics because: “This is probably my last chance to do this (swim at a high level). I want to get the most out of it now and I will swim competitively for another year or two after London.”