Thorpe fails to reach final on third swim of comeback in Singapore
IF Ian Thorpe's first two swims on his much talked about comeback at the FINA World Cup in Singapore gave cause for optimism his third well and truly didn't - not that he's worried about it though.
While well short of his best, the five-time Olympic champion finished his first comeback outing in the 100m medley at the short-course meet in the Far East on Friday in a respectable seventh.
However after two seemingly upbeat swims the 29-year-old failed to qualify for the final of the 100m butterfly - third place in his heat in 54.09 seconds only good enough for 11th overall.
But Thorpe, who quit swimming five years ago before returning in a bid to reach next year's Olympics, painted a pragmatic picture of his performances in Singapore.
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"I came expecting to get absolutely hammered in races and I knew it was going to happen," said Thorpe - who has been open in expressing his doubts of returning to Olympic-medal winning form.
"Anyone who didn't think that was going to happen didn't have this in perspective. I have to have a kind of reality check of where I am as opposed to how I feel in training.
"I was quite annoyed with myself with my time and things like that but now I know what I need to do. Racing for me is tough, it is tough to get back into this mode.
"It is not like I've fallen back, I feel like I'm on track. It's just that in the scheme of things I would have liked to have swum better.
"But I also look at where I came in the race, what time I did and look at how I felt a few months ago - I would have taken this any day three months ago."
Thorpe will continue his comeback at the upcoming Beijing and Tokyo World Cups ahead of the Australian Olympic trials in March.