Thorpe fails in Tokyo heats
Ian Thorpe's slow start on his return to the pool continued in Tokyo where he again failed to make the finals of the 100m freestyle at a World Cup event.
The Australian five-times Olympic champion finished 12th fastest in his heat, having failed at the same stage at the meet in Beijing earlier this week.
Thorpe did, however, manage to improve his time in China by 0.76 of a second, something Australia's head coach coach Leigh Nugent was quick to point out.
"He dropped nearly a second in his final 50m from Beijing," Nugent said.
"The time drop was a significant leap for Ian and that swim shows the sort of improvements that he can make."
Thorpe later dropped out of the 100m individual medley heats.
Fellow Australian Christian Sprenger started well in his 50m breaststroke heats, qualifying second fastest to keep alive his hopes of a hat-trick of titles following victories in Singapore and Beijing.
Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima, Japanese compatriot Yuuki Okajima - the fastest qualifier - and a second Australian Brenton Rickard will also contend the final.