Ian Thorpe is reportedly aiming to win 7 gold medals at this year’s Commonwealth games, a haul that would set a new record for a single games if he were to achieve it. Thorpe is already acknowledge as the overwhelming favourite to take the 200m and 400m freestyle golds, and given Australia’s recent domination of men’s team events at a world level few would bet against him picking up three more medals in the relays.
That still leaves 2 medals to find. The obvious event for him to swim would have been the 800m free, but this does not feature on the COmmonwealth programme. The 1500m it would seem is a step to far at his stage – Australian team mate Grant Hackett must be very happy to see that Thorpe will not be contesting the longest pool race. Instead it appears that Thorpe swill focus on the 100m free , in which he currently tops the commonwealth rankings, and 100m backstroke. But what are his chances in these two events?
In the 100m free, a creditable 4th place at last years worlds and a position at the top of the rankings, combined with the fact that Michael Kim, the e only commonwealth swimmer to have sum faster in recent years, will not be at the games due to injury, would lead to the suspicion that he might win that one as well.
Which leaves the backstroke. Thorpe was apparently an outstanding backstroke and currently lies third in the Commonwealth rankings, from a relay lead off swim in last year’s goodwill games. If he trains for it maybe he could pull it off, but would this affect his freestyle performances? Only time will tell. I for one think he might just do it – you had your say in the pullbuoy poll.
But there are a few obstacles in the thorpedo’s way; the 100m backstorke semi-final is the event immediately prior to the 100 freestyle final in Manchester with no women’s race in between. This will require a superb tactical swim, but even before he gets to Manchester he has to be selected for all 7 events. You’ll be able to see if Thorpe makes the team following the Australian championships, which take place from 18th to 23rd March 2002.
Can thorpe win 7 golds: how you voted: