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Magnificent seven for Thorpe?

29 July 2002

Coach Doug Frost outlines the Thorpedo’s plans for a proposed seven gold medals.

Ian Thorpe

Going for gold - seven times

At Monday morning’s press conference, Frost confirmed Thorpe would be taking part in the 100m backstroke. If Thorpe were to be successful in each event, it would bolster his place amongst the sports all time greats.

“It was Ian’s call. We saw there was a bit of time available in the programme at the end of the week. We’ve been working with him on some backstroke skills and starts and turns but it’s only been a small part of his programme, say two to five per cent. He did a lot of backstroke at age group level so it’s not as if he doesn’t have any experience.

“We’re not looking at medals, we ‘re looking at his performances. There are a lot of very good swimmers around, you know.”

Frost then turned his attention to the question on everybody’s mind - would Thorpe want to take part in seven events in Athens?

“It will be discussed when we get back to Australia. It will be a different situation. With the greatest of respect, an Olympic Games is far more competitive at all stages. Here, he will be able to cruise a bit in the heats and save something for the latter part of the week. We probably won’t be making a decision until the Olympic trials but Ian enjoys racing and he’s looking for different challenges. And don’t forget it has been done before. Remember Mark Spitz?”

Frost then went on to pay tribute to Thorpe: “I’m fortunate that I have been working with an athlete of Ian’s talent for many years. But I have never kept my knowledge from other coaches. I have made presentations all over the world; I have made a video. There’s plenty of information out there about what I’m doing and if any coaches want to come and have a chat I will be more than happy to talk to them.”

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