Sydney: Ian Thorpe is still to decide whether he will swim against Olympic nemesis Pieter van den Hoogenband in the Melbourne World Cup leg in December.
Van den Hoogenband says he will compete in the meet but Thorpe is yet to commit to the shortcourse event.
Swimming Australia director Greg Hodge said the 20-year-old world record holder would be under no pressure to race Van den Hoogenband.
He said that the decision was up to Thorpe and his new coach, Tracey Menzies.
“He’s only been back in the water a week and I’m not expecting him to make a decision until the last minute,” Hodge said on Tuesday.
Van den Hoogenband is the only swimmer to have beaten Thorpe over 200m freestyle in the past three years, winning the Olympic gold medal in Sydney two years ago.
They raced at last year’s world championships in Fukuoka, Japan, where Thorpe beat Van den Hoogenband in world record time.
But the Dutchman has been in better form this season, clocking one minute 44.89 seconds to win 200m freestyle gold at the European Championships in Berlin.
That time is only 0.18s slower than Thorpe’s best for the season of 1:44.71 to win gold at the Manchester Commonwealth Games.