Former champion battling in second comeback effort.
Australia’s five-time Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe may have to abandon his dream of swimming at the 2016 Rio Olympics following a shoulder injury.
Thorpe, 30, who failed to qualify for last year’s London Olympics, said the injury was restricting him in the training pool and he couldn’t reproduce the swims of earlier in his glittering career.
“I don’t want to be the old man who can’t do things –to push out something that may not be realistic any more,” Thorpe said.
“Although I am going to continue swimming, realistically I don’t think I will be able to get back to a position where I am at the top of the sport.”
Thorpe said he would continue to train with coach Gennadi Touretski purely for the love of swimming.
In his bid to make the Glasgow Commonwealth Games next year, and the Rio Olympics, Thorpe said he had increased his kilometres in the pool but was struggling to complete his training sessions.
Thorpe, who launched his comeback in 2011 after five years out of the sport, became Australia’s most decorated Olympian with five gold medals at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games.
He became the first person to win six gold medals at one world championships in 2001, among 11 world titles overall – along with 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals, six of them in Manchester in 2002.
Thorpe also broke 13 individual long-course world records.