Ian Thorpe's return to competitive swimming has stalled with only three week's remaining before Australia's Olympic trials. On Friday, Thorpe, a nine-time Olympic medalist, refused interviews after a 52.88-second 100-meter freestyle performance in Zurich. Australian coach Leigh Nugent blamed the race on a goggle malfunction but acknowledged that Thorpe's times are unlikely to earn him an individual berth on the Australian Olympic team. Still, Nugent he cautioned against writing Thorpe off. "The guy has the capability to do the unexpected. I wouldn't rule him out of anything," Nugent said. Thorpe, 29, is attempting to qualify for the London Olympics after a five-year absence from competitive swimming.
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