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Thorpe fails in Olympic bid

ESPN staff
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Ian Thorpe failed in his bid to qualify for London 2012 © Getty Images
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Ian Thorpe insists he has no regrets and will not give up on his Olympic dream after failing to qualify for London 2012.

The five-time Olympic champion, who came out of retirement last year, finished well down in the 100m freestyle heats at the Australian Olympic trials, having failed to reach the 200m freestyle final on Thursday.

His time of 50.35 seconds ranked him 21st in the heats, with only the top 16 reaching the semi-finals in Adelaide. World champion James Magnussen was the fastest qualifier in 48.26.

But despite seeing his dream of a place at this year's Olympics fade, Thorpe insists he does not regret risking his reputation by making a comeback.

"Compared to how I have raced before and how I have competed, the success that I have had, this does look like doom compared to it," Thorpe said. "But I'm glad that I was willing to put myself out there. I don't regret giving this a go."

With next year's World Championships in Barcelona, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the 2016 Olympics on the horizon, the 29-year-old says he has no intention of retiring for a second time.

"I think now I'll probably take a few days off and enjoy the competition and then sit down with a few people and work out what is next, work out what the next preparation will be and what competition will be next," he said.

"I'm still swimming. When I started this I wanted to get back in the pool, I wanted to race and I wanted to go to the Olympics. I still want to do all of those things. I've missed out on a huge goal but the desire is still there."

Australian head coach Leigh Nugent believes Thorpe, who won three gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and two more in Athens four years later, can return to his best.

"He's got it all, it's there, you just have to train him," Nugent said. "What he attempted was incredibly difficult and coming here and doing what he's done is an achievement in itself, but it's part of a bigger process."

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