A Watershed For France As Trials Unfold With Another Manaudou On The Mike

French nationals ahoy - the FFN poster promoting trials

News Round-up: France gets set for world-title trials with another Manaudou on the mike, as Florent joins Laure in the ranks of TV experts from the ranks of the medalled; Fanny Lecluyse sticks with it despite missing world-titles cut by 0.02sec; Aussies take 14 to Commonwealth Youth Games

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I was in France during the Rio Olympics so I saw Laure Manadou and Philippe Lucas in action as the expert commentators on France Televisions. My French isn’t that good(I’m working on it) but it was obvious she played second fiddle to him. I suppose the power imbalance persists even though the coach-athlete relationship ended many years ago. I wasn’t all that impressed with the extent and quality of the coverage given to the swimming program but that’s another story(but if you’re a fan of fencing and a few other obscure sports like canoeing in artificial rapids you would have been happy).

One of the things that got up my nose was the way the final of the men’s 50FS was covered. The build-up was way over the top. Then when the big moment came the screen was split into two. On one screen we could see the actual race while the camera on the other screen was fixed entirely on Laure Manaudou. The poor girl looked like she was in severe pain. It was as if her life depended on the outcome of the race. She seemed to be holding her breath whilst crouching down barely able to look as the race was unfolding. When they hit the wall and it showed that her brother had fallen .01 of a second short of the gold medal she broke down and started sobbing. The cameras kept their focus on her for what seemed like an eternity. They say French journalism is better than what you see in English speaking countries. Perhaps it is but on this occasion I found it cheap and exploitative. And this from a national broadcaster.

Craig Lord

TV… drama, baby, drama… not journalism, longstroke 🙂 L’Equipe did some very fine reporting 🙂


I’m starting to look at the natation section of L’Equipe more and more. I can kill two birds with one stone – get some decent swimming coverage and improve my French.

Craig Lord

Gagner, gagner

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