Thorpe sticks to his 400m 'no show'
Originally Posted by Sandra
I dont want ian to drop 400m freestyle
A LAST-DITCH bid to convince Olympic champion Ian Thorpe to contest the 400m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games has failed.
Australian head coach Alan Thompson met Thorpe and his coach Tracey Menzies in Sydney yesterday to discuss their plans for the Games.
Despite Thorpe declaring last month he had no intentions of swimming the 400m in Melbourne, Thompson had hoped he might change his mind.
"We just didn't get there," Thompson said yesterday.
"He is not ready to swim it at the trials next month, so I didn't have any success.
"He has made a plan and he's keen to stick to it. It's working all right, so I can't be disappointed.
"I probably wouldn't have even broached it with him if we had Grant Hackett and Nic Sprenger 100 per cent right."
While Hackett was forced to withdraw from the Games to have shoulder surgery last month, Sprenger's health is also a concern.
The 20-year-old Queenslander, a member of Australia's silver-medal winning 4 x 200m freestyle relay team in Athens, has had a mystery virus for three weeks.
He did not compete at last week's Queensland titles and has been on a modified training program.
Sprenger and his coach Michael Bohl hope blood tests will show what is wrong.
"We were a little bit concerned about what's going to happen with him and what the problem is, but they just seem to think it was a virus," Thompson said.
"They've ruled out glandular fever, but they couldn't really pin-point what it was.
"We're keeping an eye on him because he was the guy you turned to when Grant and Ian were out."
However, Thompson said he was encouraged about Craig Stevens' plans for the 1500m freestyle for the Commonwealth Games.
Stevens, also coached by Menzies, was planning to concentrate on the 200m and 400m freestyle, but told Thompson he would consider tackling the 1500m.
Stevens, with a personal-best time of 15:01.64, is Australia's best hope of challenging Britain's David Davies for the 1500m gold in Hackett's absence.
"Craig said he is considering swimming the 1500m," Thompson said.
"He'll more than likely enter the 1500m at the nationals and make a decision that week as to where he goes with that one."