Former Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe has confirmed he will come out of retirement and return to the pool in a bid to make the Australian team to swim at the London 2012 Olympics.
The 28-year-old, nicknamed Thorpedo, quit competitive swimming in 2006 but at a press conference in Sydney he revealed his planned comeback.
"It hasn't been something that I have taken lightly in making a decision to return to competitive swimming but I actually made a decision in September," Thorpe said.
"When I made that decision I was flying over the Atlantic and I then went on to not being able to say anything because I was actually commentating for the BBC so it was sitting in my gut for a while.
"I was then taken to see the swimming venue for the London Olympics. It's an extraordinary venue and I could actually taste it... and I haven't felt this way about swimming for a very long time.
"I didn't at any stage get back into the pool to get fit. I didn't get back in the pool for any other reason than to be back at the stage of being able to compete at an elite level.''
He added:"So when I initiated the training I promised myself first to train for three days without pulling the pin on it, then I said if I got through that I would give myself three weeks, and if I got through three weeks I'll go for three months then make a decision about this."
Thorpe, who collected nine Olympic medals including five gold, 11 World Championship gold medals and ten Commonwealth golds before retiring, will be based in Abu Dhabi in a bid to avoid the media spotlight in Australia.
He plans to target the 100m and 200m freestyle relays but would not rule out contesting the 100m and 200m individual events should he successfully qualify at the Olympic trials next March.