Ian Thorpe promises to confound the sceptics who claim he is only coming out of retirement for the money.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the five-times Olympic gold medallist said he can become a much faster swimmer than ever before.
After retiring in 2006, 28 year old Thorpe announced his comeback last month, admitting that he had been secretly training in September.
He says he has proved to himself he is capable of returning to the level that resulted in him dominating the sport and breaking 13 long-course world records between 1999 and 2002.
”My overall goal in what I’m doing now is to be better than what I used to be, that’s it,” Thorpe said. ”When I started swimming again I wasn’t going to continue unless I thought I could be [better]. And after a few months I’m confident that I can be better and faster than I used to be able to swim.”
Thorpe won Olympic gold in the 200 and 400 metres freestyle and won a world title at 800. But he has his focus firmly set on the 100 and 200 individual and relay freestyle events in his comeback.
Thorpe, who is training under revered coach Gennadi Touretski in Germany, is ineligible to compete at the national titles, starting in Sydney tomorrow, and this year’s world championships.