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Thorpe not ready to write off Rio

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Australia's Ian Thorpe speaks during the news conference for the Doha Gathering of All Leaders In Sport (GO
Five-time Olympic gold medallist Australia's Ian Thorpe speaks during the news conference for the Doha Gathering of All Leaders In Sport (GO

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe has not ruled out a crack at competing at the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 despite not qualifying for last year's London Games.

The five-times Olympic champion, who made his Olympic debut as a teenager at Sydney in 2000 and will be nearly 34 by the time Rio comes around, is back in training under Russian coach Gennadi Touretski in Europe.

"I am pretty old but to be honest, I haven't made a decision about another Olympics," Thorpe told News Ltd after a fundraiser for the Lifeline this week.

"In saying that, as you get older it does get harder but you can look at guys like (Aleksander) Popov and others who have proven you can keep swimming and competing into your thirties.

"It's not something I have made a decision on but at the moment I'm back in training so we'll see what happens."

Touretski was instrumental in the rise of multiple Olympic champion sprinter Popov, who was in his thirties when he qualified for the 2004 Olympics in Athens but failed to reach the final of either of his individual events.

Thorpe retired in 2006 citing waning motivation and made a comeback early in 2011 but failed to make the Australian team for London at last year's trials.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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