Thorpe finished 16th fastest overall in the 100 metres freestyle at the Italian Winter Open, then 10th in the 200m, with times well short of what he would need to qualify for the Australian team in March.
“It’s important that I race, whether it’s a good result or a bad result, I have to keep racing at this stage,” the 29-year-old was quoted as saying by The Australian newspaper on Monday. “But whether it’s the 100 or the 200, racing still feels unfamiliar to me. It doesn’t feel like I know how to do it yet. But I race again in three weeks (at the Victorian titles), and each time I race, things come back. I’m happy with how I raced.
“I don’t look at where I come in the race. I look at the time, how fast it is. I watch it, I critique my race after it but I have no control of what the others are doing. It’s not a concern now, maybe later, but now it’s too premature.”
Thorpe, Australia’s most successful Olympian, announced his comeback in February after retiring in 2006 and has since struggled at short-course meetings in Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo.