Oz sprint coach says Thorpe must shed kilos for Olympics comeback

February 4th, 2011 - 12:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Feb.4 (ANI): Respected sprint coach Grant Stoelwinder believes Ian Thorpe will need to reshape his physique and swim faster than he ever has before to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Thorpe looked physically fit during a media-packed training session in Ultimo yesterday but his 5kg weight loss target to reach his ideal 96kg race weight appears insufficient given his top rivals all weigh in much lighter.

“He looks really big up top. Most sprinters are leaning up a lot. Alain Bernard is still big but he’s not thick. Thorpie has really thick arms and a thick chest. I’m sure they’ll sculpt him a little bit,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Stoelwinder, as saying.

Stoelwinder says it will take a sub-48.5sec 100m freestyle time to qualify for Australia’s Olympic team next year, meaning Thorpe must go faster than he did before he retired four years ago.

“He is a talented swimmer. I don’t have doubts he can do it, it’s going to be hard work to get there. He is probably going to be doing a lot on his own and that is going to be hard,” he added.

Stoelwinder’s concern raised the biggest question yet to be answered: who will coach Thorpe and will he have training partners when based in Abu Dhabi?

Australian head coach Leigh Nugent admitted he would have “limited” face-to-face training with Thorpe once he flies overseas and will rely upon video technology and the Internet to monitor his progress.

Given most world-class athletes are already entrenched in programs ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, Thorpe could struggle to find swimmers who are prepared to join him on his Middle East odyssey. (ANI)

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