Thorpe's 'left it too late' for Olympics


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The Independent Online

Ian Thorpe has left it too late to qualify for the London Olympics, according to a top Australian coach.

Thorpe, 29, won five Olympic gold medals before retiring in 2006, but announced he was coming back to the sport in February.       

Denis Cotterell, who coached Thorpe's fellow Australian Grant Hackett to two Olympic titles, said: "Thorpie really hasn't allowed himself enough time to make the team.

"Never knock a champion because he's achieved great things but he has given himself less than a year from his announced return to win selection and in my estimation that's not going to be achievable."

Thorpe has not impressed so far in his comeback. At the Italian Winter Open in Riccione last weekend, he finished 16th in the 100m freestyle and 10th in the 200m.

However, Thorpe and the Australia head coach, Leigh Nugent, have both dismissed concerns about his progress as premature.