Dennis Cotterell, former mentor to Grant Hackett, is not often found giving away his thoughts on what is to come but today the Australian coach makes the headlines twice: first in China, having set a new world-record target for Sun Yang over 1500m free next year - and then Down Under after saying that Ian Thorpe won't make the London 2012 cut.
Sun Yang is cited as one of the two biggest prospectors for gold at the Olympic Games in yearly reviews of Chinese sport, starting with a Xinhua feature that cites the 20-year-old saying that Cotterell has set him a new personal best as his target in time for 2012.
Having taking down Hackett's 2001 world mark (the only one among men to have survived the shiny suit onslaught) when winning the world title in Shanghai last July, Sun tells reporters at home: "I can still swim better in the 1,500m freestyle next year. My coach has set me a new target, but it's not the right time to release it now." Two things may be assumed: that Sun is indeed talking about Cotterell and not his Chinese coaches - and a sub-14:30 effort as the closest detail of the veiled target.
Xinhua falls shy of guessing what China as a whole will do in the race pool at London 2012 but does say this: "The Chinese swimmers reaped five golds, two silvers and seven bronzes at the Shanghai World Championships in July, harvesting their best results since 1994. Next year in London, it will not be surprising if they surpass their one-gold finish at the Beijing Games."
Meantime, Cotterell's views on Thorpe reach the world from the horse's mouth: he tells The Australian that the five-times Olympic champion "probably" underestimated the time needed to get back up to speed.
"Thorpie really hasn't allowed himself enough lead-in time to make the team, it's as simple as that," Cotterell tells the paper today. "Never knock a champion because he's achieved great things but he has given himself less than a year from his announced return in February to win selection and in my estimation that's not going to be achievable."
Cotterell adds: "He's trying to pack into a year what in reality is a two-year assignment. No matter how good you are ... he's been out of swimming for nearly six years and that's a long lay off. You can stay fit and healthy but that's a lot different from having a competitive edge at the top level of the game. He's swimming well but he's not where he would like to be or needs to be."
Read more on the comeback trailers at the Cap and Goggles blog and watch out for the SwimNews Review of the Year before the clock ticks over to 2012.