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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Swimming Friday, 2 August, 2002, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Thorpe makes it five
Ian Thorpe is still on course for seven gold medals
Thorpe's win took him to five golds in this Games

Ian Thorpe cruised to his fifth gold medal of the Commonwealth Games with victory in the 100m freestyle.

The 19-year-old broke the Games record in the process to remain on course for seven golds in Manchester.

Thorpe got away from the blocks well and held a marginal lead on the turn.

But he came away from his rivals comfortably in the final stages for victory in a time of 48.73 seconds, ahead of team-mate Ashley Callus.

open quote
I'm doing this event because I wanted to try something different
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Ian Thorpe on the backstroke

South Africa's Ryk Neethling clinched bronze. Matthew Kidd, of England, managed fourth place.

Thorpe has already taken gold in the 400m freestyle, the 4x100m freestyle relay, the 4x200m freestyle relay and the 200 freestyle and aims to complete his seven-gold haul with wins in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m medley relay.

Twenty minutes after winning gold in the freestyle, Thorpe won the first semi-final of the 100m backstroke.

He finished marginally ahead of his rivals in a time of 56.49s after getting off to a poor start.

In the other semi-final, Thorpe's major rival for gold, Matt Welsh, won in a time of 55.91s and is the favourite for gold.

Thorpe, looking ahead to Saturday's final, played down his chances of making it seven golds out of seven.

He insisted: "I've never expected to win seven gold medals here. I'd like to, but I don't think it's going to happen.

"My only expectation is that I will swim to the best of my ability and if I do that then I'll be happy."

Mentally strong

The teenager admitted the sheer number of races was beginning to take its toll.

"Physically my body's starting to break down a little bit," he added. "I'm noticing a few small ailments there but nothing too serious that a massage and treatment from the physio won't get rid of.

"Mentally I'm still just as focused as I was at the start of the meet."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Bob Ballard
"Five golds for Ian Thorpe now"
Ian Thorpe
"I am pretty tired now"
England's Matthew Kidd
"I wanted to be next to Thorpe"

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01 Aug 02 | Swimming
31 Jul 02 | Swimming
30 Jul 02 | Swimming
30 Jul 02 | Swimming
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