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Ian Thorpe pulls out of Games

Ian Thorpe, Australia's most- successful Olympian, pulled out of this month's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne because of a virus, depriving the four-yearly event of its biggest draw.

Thorpe, 23, made the decision to withdraw after consulting his doctors, coach and Swimming Australia officials, Australia head coach Alan Thompson said at a televised news conference. He was scheduled to swim the 100- and 200-meters freestyle and three relays at the March 15-26 Games in Melbourne.

``I've struggled for the last three weeks to overcome my illness,'' Thorpe told reporters. ``In the end it was the only decision I could come to.''

Thorpe, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, was seeking to become Australia's most successful Commonwealth Games athlete. He's currently tied with fellow swimmer Susie O'Neill on 10 Commonwealth Games medals having won four golds in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and six golds in Manchester, England, four years ago.

Thats now the two biggest draw cards out of the Games.....

Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett, arguably the two greatest swimmers of all time.

Huge loss for the Games and swimming fans alike, not to mention about 10 gold medals off the Australian tally.

... all they need now is for Asafa Powell to pull a hammy and they'll be well and truely rooted.

Great ***le ey
oh well... we still have the women! Liesel in particular and the others (forget their names).
Big loss, just seen Paula Radcliffe has withdrawn as well, games are losing the big names alright, who's next Asafa Powell?

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