IAN Thorpe is back in the pool training hard and has fallen in love with swimming again.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the legendary Thorpedo began training regularly at the start of summer, having embarked on an intense fitness kick.
"I never really stopped swimming, I'm just doing more of it now, and I'm really enjoying getting into shape," Thorpe said yesterday after his morning swim.
The Olympic gold medallist was happy to see his good friend Geoff Huegill's successful comeback, and is said to be motivated by his old team-mate's performance at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Thorpe, 28, has also fully recovered from a serious injury, a triple break in his shoulder blade, that hindered his training efforts last year.
In the pool at the Caringbah Leisure Centre yesterday morning, he looked in shape and appeared to have dropped at least 10kg.
Thorpe's manager, David Flaskas, said the swimmer had not ruled out competing at next year's London Olympics. But he stressed that Thorpe was yet to formally return to competitive swimming.
"At the moment, he's training hard and loving swimming again," Flaskas told The Sunday Telegraph.
"He hasn't put his name down to race again. It will be nine months before he can race after he puts his name down for drug testing.
"He's just enjoying getting fit again. To come back to competitive racing would be going up another level again."
Thorpe has been seen at pools around Sydney with Olympic swimmer Craig Stevens.
Flaskas said Thorpe was delighted with his good mate Huegill's return to the pool, which resulted in him winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
"He was really happy for Geoff," Flaskas said. "But Thorpie is very much his own man."
Huegill, 30, dropped more than 40kg to return to the pool. He was overjoyed when told Thorpe was training regularly again.
"I think it's awesome and unreal," Huegill said.
"I hope he does want to compete for Australia in 2012.
"One of the best things about having a guy like that back training, and lurking in the background, is that it will actually lift the level of competition. It will make guys step up."da: [Devi essere iscritto e connesso per vedere questo link]