Swimming: Thorpe reportedly considering 2012 Olympic comeback
BRISBANE, Australia — Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe is reportedly considering a comeback in a bid to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
The Courier-Mail newspaper reported Monday that Thorpe talked to several of Australia's leading sprinters recently about a potential return for the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Thorpe, 27, retired in 2006 after winning five Olympic gold medals.
His manager, David Flaskas, said Thorpe had no set plan to return to competition but was in good shape.
"Nothing is impossible but as far as I'm aware there is nothing startling planned for the immediate future," Flaskas told the newspaper. "His diary is pretty jammed and he hasn't discussed anything with me."
Thorpe won 11 world championship golds and set 13 world records. He won the 200- and 400-meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics in his last major international meet.
Thorpe was the world's highest-profile swimmer until American Michael Phelps came onto the scene, and had a list of lucrative endorsement deals.
But he admitted in February that he had financial problems after his personal savings were affected by the global economic crisis.
Thorpe burst onto the international stage as a teenager in 1999 and won three gold medals — all in world record time — and two silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Thorpe's coach, Tracey Menzies, said the swimmer had not spoken to her about a comeback.
"If he puts his mind to something he can achieve that goal — if this is the goal he wants to achieve at the end of his career he will definitely do it," Menzies said in a television interview. "The talk in the newspapers is that he wants to step on for a relay position first, I think that's a good stepping stone for him.
"He knows what he needs to do, he wouldn't be making these calls or making a decision to come back if he didn't know where he was at ... if that's what he said he's going to do."