Ian_Thorpe_in_pool_February_3_2011February 26 - Five-time Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe has refused to reveal the identity of the new coach he hopes will take him through to next year's London Olympics.

The 28-year-old Australian announced his return to the sport three weeks ago, and was on track to resume competition on November 2.

On Thursday (February 24), Thorpe left Australia to train in Abu Dhabi, and he does not expect to be training alone.

"I'll be training with other people," he said.

"I won't just be there by myself.

"I've had a few swimmers, a couple of international swimmers and some Australian swimmers, that want to come and train with me."

Earlier, experts including former national coach Don Talbot and Grant Hackett have expressed concern that Thorpe would fail in his comeback without a proper coach and training group around him.

Australian national head coach Leigh Nugent is overseeing Thorpe's programme, but will not be on hand full-time because of his other responsibilities.

He will join Thorpe in the Middle East next week.

However, Australia's greatest Olympian would not reveal to reporters who he has chosen as a long-term option.

"I have a coach," Thorpe said.

"You can guess as much as you want.

"Look it's not a secret...it will be public knowledge as soon as I start training.

"It's no big deal.

"At the moment, the people that I'm bringing in, I want to be able to train with them and pretty much be by myself and to be left alone during that training process.

"And until everything pans out as planned, I won't be letting you know.

"But it's exciting, I'm happy with who I'm training with."

The five-time Olympic champion said Abu Dhabi would be his main training base, and he will also be heading to Europe by the end of next month.

Thorpe won 11 world titles and set 13 long-course records before announcing his retirement from swimming in November 2006 after 10 years in the Australian team, saying he had lost the desire to compete.

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