ATHS: Adviser denies talking Freeman out of retirement Aths Freeman
By Paul Mulvey
LONDON, June 15 AAP - A senior adviser to Cathy Freeman has denied he has rushed to London on a mercy dash to stop the Olympic 400m champion from retiring.
Speculation has grown since Freeman recorded her worst result in 10 years last month and then withdrew from a meeting in France this weekend that she was so frustrated with her comeback to athletics, she was going to call it a day.
Chris Giannopoulos, a senior executive with International Management Group, admitted Freeman was disappointed with the slow progress of her comeback but said reports that he had flown from Melbourne to her London training base to dissaude her from hanging up the spikes were wrong.
I'll be catching up with Catherine probably tomorrow,'' Giannopoulos said today. There’s been a lot of speculation, but that’s all it is.
It's not a matter of me trying to talk her out of retirement. She hasn't talked herself into retirement. It’s no secret she’s been having an up and down time with her comeback.
If she decides, that's her decision. I’ll just see how she is, see where she’s at, how she’s feeling. Until I see her I don’t really know what she’s feeling.
``I know she’s disappointed with her last run. She didn’t run in France, she’s here spending some time now getting a real quality training block with her coach.’’
Giannopoulos said his trip to England had been planned for some months to see some Australian tennis players including Mark Philippoussis, who IMG represents, before Wimbledon which starts next week.
Freeman’s form is worrying only two months before the world championships in Paris.
She is reportedly lacking motivation after finishing fifth in a field of six in an event in the US in May, more than two seconds behind winner Ana Guevara, of Mexico.
Athletics Australia head coach Keith Connor was so concerned by the rumours he spoke with her for half an hour late last week and said she gave no indication she was thinking of retirement.
Freeman’s coach Peter Fortune could not be contacted in London today but had earlier denied she had stopped training or reduced her training schedule.
She withdrew from a 200m race in Lille in France today, saying she needed more training.
She is yet to record an A-qualifying time for the 400m for the world championships but her advisers are reportedly dangling the 4x400m relay as the carrot to keep her motivated.
Freeman took a year off after winning gold at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and then suffered several injuries as well as nursing her now estranged husband Sandy Bodecker through cancer.