Florent Manaudou Faces ‘Negative Pressure’ In French Trials 100m, Says Romain Barnier

Florent Manaudou [courtesy: Speedo]
Florent Manaudou [courtesy: Speedo]

Florent Manaudou’s presence in the 100m freestyle at French Olympic trials is stacked with expectation that could turn into “negative pressure”, according to the London 2012 50m freestyle champion’s coach in Marseilles Romain Barnier after a 49 flat from his charge over the weekend

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Yozhik

It looks like we will know nothing about Dutch leading swimmers up to OG. Where is Kromowidjojo? After two months of this year the

Yozhik

After two months of this year the list of top 10 sprinters looks very unusual if not to say weird.

Ger

Yozhik, the Dutch have a big meet in Eindhoven at the beginning of April. There’s also the Europeans in May, where they may compete.

Yozhik

Thank you Ger. Do you think it will be a big meet or everything has been decided already and this meet will be a simple formality.

Ger

“In 2016 the SwimCup will be the biggest sporting event in the Netherlands in April. A lot of national and international elite athletes will take part in this event. The level of the participating swimmers will be extremely high. World and Olympic champion swimmers will compete in securing an Olympic qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. This Olympic edition will consist of five competition days instead of the regular four. Also, the start times of the event have been adjusted to the Olympic schedule.”

Taken from: http://swimcup.nl/?lang=en

Yozhik

@Ger, it sounds like SwimCup together with American Olympic trials will be the most interesting meets before OG.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, I would imagine there’s a Dutchman who would have something to say about that Down Under ๐Ÿ™‚ Much to look forward to far and wide.

DDias

Yozhik,
besides the two you wrote, I would look at:
Japan Trials-Hagino e Seto
China Trials-Yang and some unknown swimmer whoweneverheardaboutit and blast a crazy fast time.
British-Sprint(Proud,Halsall) and medley(SMO and Miley)
Brazil-men sprint
Australia-The wonder girls and men’s 100-200free.

ThereaLuigi

The Canadian trials in April should also be worth keeping an eye on.

commonwombat

With regards to AUS Trials, I’m going to sound a note that may be heretical to some but I believe that both semis AND finals should be opened up to international competitors rather than just heats.

Not only will it raise the standards in some events but it will help with giving a reality check to those with habits of “loafing” in the heats. Essentially my point is; “if you can’t beat them in a domestic competition then how the hell do you expect to do so in the main event”.

TBH, this is not going to impact every event and odds are that you would see all AUS finals in a majority of events. Neither is it going to impact the selection process; either you swim the time or you don’t.

However, when you have some quality international performers in Boyle, Johansson, maybe a JAP swimmer or two training down here; they can be very usual measuring sticks for our leading competitors in these events.

No doubt there would be a cry from aggrieved parents and coaches with agendas bewailing the fact that their “poor little diddums” didn’t make the final etc because of some foreigner !! Tough you know what !! They just didn’t swim fast enough …… they’re not going to get any charity when they’re competing in the big league so why should they be coddled at national meets ?

Yozhik

When I said an interesting meet I ment the trial meet with strong competition for the ticket to Rio.. Campbell sisters, Sjostrom, Seabohm, Larkin, Let Clos, Peaty etc has been already selected to Olympic team and are not motivated to show their bests at trial meets. I cannot mention anybody among American swimmers who won’t be at least partially rested before trials. SwimCup could be a very important check point for many swimmers, leaving three months before OG for correction if something is not right with swimmer’s expected results. On this note I totally agree with commonwombat on importance of strong field at domestic competitions.

Craig Lord

Australians, Brits are not pre-selected, Yozhik – they have to stand up at trials. In some events, it may be possible to get through without full rest but in most events and for most people, they do not have the comfort of being able to risk such a thing. There are several check points coming up, April stacked high with them…

commonwombat

Yozhik, as Craig inferred, there is no “pre-selection” provision with AUS and AUS Trials are a “one shot saloon” like US Nationals.

The only potential events where someone has both the AUS QT and a significant gap on the rest of the field are Larkin in both male backstrokes and the Campbells in the W50 & 100. But add variables like illnesses/injury niggles and this “padding” can disappear.

Yozhik

Craig and CW don’t take me literally. You perfectly understand what I mean. Sjostrom can swim backward at national meet to be selected for Rio. There is no need for Campbells to go under 53 to win their races. Other very fast Australian ladies won’t even try to compete. Do you really expect high speed results and competition excitement at this trials? I don’t. But I cannot wait for the competition between Americans girls for two tickets at 100 freestyle. It could be slower than Australians one, but red hot with new names where the oldest contender will probably Franklin at the age of 20. Man competition can be of the same level of excitement.

Craig Lord

History tells us, Yozhik, that, yes, we can rely on fast times and world-leading times at trials in AUS, GBR, FRA, JPN, CHN and several other nations heading for trials in northern spring. As CW suggests, even the Campbells cannot take it like that: it is not beyond the bounds to think that two others could crack 53 in an Australian 100m hunt for 4×100 berths, and thus an ‘off-day’ at 52.9 would be risky place to be if you want to be sure of a solo berth. Yes, I do expect those competitions to be exciting – they always have been, so why would 2016 be any different. It won’t be: there’ll be tons of great swims all around the world – excitement takes many shapes and tones. Grant Hackett was a long way ahead at 14:31, for e.gโ€ฆ. obvious he was going to win, no less thrilling for that.

ThereaLuigi

Yozhik, Australian trials have produced stunningly fast races at times. I remember an incredible 200 free in 2000. Then of course the 47.10 by Magnussen in 2012. And there are others.

commonwombat

Yozhik, the fact is that there will be NO Olympic Trials/National meets where one is guaranteed either world leading times or exciting racing.

Why ? Because no country is in the position of NOT having significant gaps in their programs or having depth in every event let alone medal contenders.

With AUS; looking past McEvoy & Larkin and there are few AUS male swimmers who look likely finallists let alone medal contenders. Look at the US women beyond Ledecky and the potential individual medallists can be counted on one hand. In some of those events, there may be only a couple of true contenders for selection just as there may be in other countries.

Your point re the Campbell sisters may have a little credence with the W50free but falls down completely with the 100free. Whilst they may be short odds for the two individual swims; there are a lot of swimmers wanting to “get a piece of the action” with the W4X100 relay so they’ll be wanting and needing to post very quick times to strengthen their claims. The AUS W4X200 missed World medals in Kazan for the first time in many years; one would have to think there will be a number hungry to rectify that in Rio.

Even Seebohm cannot afford to be off her game in the 100back; given she has world no2 Wilson “on her case” and young Atherton a very real potential spoiler. There are events on both male and female sides where the AUS QT is a significant “ask” and the tension will be centred primarily on “can someone qualify” ?

Yozhik

I’m not sure what we are disputing here, gentlemen. Sure bad thing can happen, but I was talking about situation that has more chances to occur than bad accidents.
Sure a swimmer can swim fast if he/she feels like that. Ledecky sets two world records at high school level meet. Sjostrom breaks the world record in season in front of small crowd of spectators. Pellegrini swims her personal best racing Hosszu, that hardly was planned just months prior WC.
I don’t argue. But you are missing my point. Trials are not about fast times, but about competition for the right to be called Olympian. If there is no competition the trials have no sense and can be considered another exercise prior major contest.
You know more about swimming affairs in Australia. But I don’t see any competition among women sprinters. We have two swimmers under 53. That is just enough for individual races. After them at significant distance we have four swimmers under 54. Just enough to compose the relay. And then the peloton is coming. Maybe you are talking about competition to be first in line on the waiting list in case if something wrong and unexpected happens to leaders. For example, i don’t see any reason for McKeon to be at perfect shape at trials at all
– she won’t beat sisters, and her place in relay is secure.

commonwombat

Yozhik, sometimes I feel you can be deliberately obtuse.

To take our AUS W100free for example; can we “take it as read” that the Campbells WILL both break 53sec at Trials ? We cannot !! Actually C2 has never done so domestically. We also have 2 swimmers with 53.3/53.4 PBs. A scenario where they swim a new PB and C2 (still nursing a hip niggle) isn’t fully firing has just as much credence as one with both C1 & C2 below 53sec.

You say McKeon doesn’t have to be fully firing at Trials; what about her other main events (W200/W100fly) ? Yes, she’s broken 1.56 this season but she did the same at a similar point last year and never did so again for the rest of the year. She also has a ruck of 1.56 swimmers so she cannot afford to be “off”. Likewise the 100fly where she has no significant gap on her competition.

The thing about so-called certainties is that they’re actually far fewer than we think. Even titans like Phelps get “rolled” in events that many have already engraved his name on the gold medal. And so its been through history …… far more often that the “sweeps” of the Spitz’s/Otto’s etc.

The point you make about AUS titles, GBR, JAP can be made for US Nationals. There will be the predictable processions as well as the upsets. There will be events with depth and ones where the qualifiers are nigh certain. Even they, the acknowledged swimming superpower, does NOT have depth and quality all across both programs.

Craig Lord

The risk is big enough in a country like Australia (and several others, too) for the likes of a McKeon and a Campbell over 100 to know they have to be on the ball at trials. Fast times = strong competition when stretching to third place in any domestic competition, Yozhik. I take your point but it goes too far – Australian, British, Italian etc trials will all be fast and most key protagonists will have to be on their game: qualification is not just about finishing top 2, it is about a time cut well inside the FINA A time, set with the podium in mind (so the moment stretches beyond the race in question to the time in question). To add to that, a 100m free race in which four swimmers finish on 53.25-53.4, say, is no more thrilling than on in which 4 women go below 53 in domestic waters, regardless soy whether the winner goes 52.3 and is the obvious champion.

Craig Lord

Correct CW. You will see far more depth of quality on men’s breaststroke in GBR and JPN, for example, than in the US, but that won’t apply in men’s ‘fly in GBR nor the men’s 100 free in either GBR nor JPN, while no nation can compete right now with the depth of 100m free that Australian women have mustered – and on and on.

Yozhik

@cw. I don’t understand what you don’t understand of what I’m trying deliberately to explain you.
Whenever I don’t follow the logic of my wife she is joking saying: “Now I’m repeating same thing for exceptionally gifted” ๐Ÿ™‚ So let me try one more time as well. It is so simple. The Australian trials at W100 freestyle will have no competition. I can tell you right now who will swim individual race in Rio and who will swim relay. I am pretty sure that your prediction is the same. If it is different from the opinion of consensus then it would be interesting to know what it is. Please don’t tell me that you cannot do it because the uncertainty in this case is too high. You also supported my point (probably unwillingly) that McKeon has bigger fish to fry where her individual achievements will be more notecible. There fore I don’t expect her to focus much on 100 free.
P.S.
The absence of motivation among Australian sprinters may result in low relay performance as it happened to McKeon in Kazan.

Craig Lord

Yozhik: stop it, you’re making me laugh too muchโ€ฆ “the absence of motivation” ! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think Olympic 4x100m free gold is a fairly sizeable motive for those who want to kill it in the pool ๐Ÿ™‚ Everyone said “Thorpe, certain for the 400m free at Athens 2004″โ€ฆ and then he fell off his blocks. They made it happen but you just never know.

Yozhik

Yes, Sir! But when Australian girls miss gold because the third or fourth leg isn’t ‘on fire’ don’t forget to give me publicly huge credit. When you are so close to be the best sprinter in the world and will never be, the relay gold where you are ‘the second violin’ may not be that bright.
Ok, I stop it. I have better things to do than annoying commonwombat.

commonwombat

Yozhik, you appear to be engaging in a game of semantics or at minimum; moving the goalposts to justify an argument that struggles to survive scrutiny.

Your original pronouncement re McKeon reads verbatim “i donโ€™t see any reason for McKeon to be at perfect shape at trials at all” … now you choose to narrow that to the 100free.

You state with portentous gravity that the result of the W100free at AUS Trials is already a “done deal” and you can name the members of the 4X100 relay.

C2 is still nursing a hip issue – FACT. She has never broken 53sec flat start in AUS – FACT. At this point of her career, she has yet to mirror her big sisters capacity to churn out world leading times at any time.

The hip issue is less of a hindrance for the 50. C1 had these issues in the earlier part of her career; case in point where she was able to swim 50free at 2009 Worlds but 100 was problematic.

Hopefully C2’s issues are nowhere near as big but they do add a legitimate quotient of doubt to the equation. Yes, the Campbell’s have to be seen as significant favourites for the individual spots but in no way is it carved in stone and about to be carried down from Mt Sinai.

You can name the 4×100 relay, can you …. both finals and heats ? Lets agree for argument sake that both Campbells and McKeon will be part of the squad but who is a certainty amongst the other suspects ?

– Elmslie had a cancer op last year; she’s been back in the water but is she back to her early 2015 times ?
– Coutts has a number of sub54s in her CV; just what shape will she be in ?
– Wright has a 53.38PB and was part of the quartet that broke the WR in 2014 but didn’t make the final quartet in Kazan.
– Seebohm & Wilson are both wanting spots …. will they swim through the rounds at Trials or just look to past a fast time in heats or semis to leave a marker with the selectors ?

You have definitive answers for all those questions …… sadly, I haven’t. At this point, there are a number of names but little to no “form” from this season as to how they are tracking in this event. What I DO know from experience is that when a relay is successful, there is almost always a great deal of interest in being part of it and that in turn tends to drive competition and performance.

I, like Craig, fully understand your argument but don’t feel its fully sustainable. There are going to be a few “non event” and frankly $%&@ boring races at AUS Trials either due to lack of depth or even absence of a potential qualifier …… but you’re going to find that almost everywhere. Even US has events where the depth is questionable.

However, events that relay linkages, particularly in nations with pedigrees in these disciplines will almost always see strong competition.

Maybe we can leave at this and agree to disagree .

commonwombat

Craig, feel free to remove the above post and this ….. rather than prolong a discussion that appears to be going round in circles

Craig Lord

I can’t imagine a member of the Australia 4x100m free quartet racing below capacity through lack of motivation in an Olympic final, Yozkik, genuinely not, whatever the outcome.

Craig Lord

CW, I will rely on Yozhik to accept that the exchange has run its course (and his take is not something we’re going to accept ๐Ÿ™‚

ThereaLuigi

I like you Yozhik but come on, “one shot saloon” trials, to borrow an expression from Commonwombat, such as the USA or AUS trials, are fast by definition. These guys have invested 4 hard years in their Olympic dream and can not risk to forfeit it. There are no “locks”, indeed history is full of swimmers that were “locks” on paper and went home heartbroken.
Think about it, trials in countries such as the US are even harder than Olympics, because there are only 2 spots and the 3d spot is often occupied by someone who would have finaled at the Olympics. As Gary Hall jr put it, “if I am third at the Olympics it means I am on the medal stand in a few minutes; if I am third at Trials, it means I’m on the couch for a month”

commonwombat

Therea, its not always that simple. Some events, even in the USA, may be incredibly shallow in depth and/or the current standard for that event/stroke in that country may be “off international pace”.

Otherwise, we’re in agreement. Realistically there are probably less than a handful of swimmers around the world who have such a gap on both their domestic AND international competition that they can afford to be less than optimal (or near optimal) at their Trials. Even then that may only be in specific events and their other events will require them to be on their game in order to finish 1-2.

Furthermore, injury and illness can, and inevitably will, take its toll of Olympic hopefuls and these eternal interlopers don’t discriminate between rank outsiders and champions.

Something can only ever be a certainty when there is no other possible outcome.

Rafael

Therealuigi,

On current situation, I can only think on 100 back/fly that the guy who is 3rd on US may actually be someone who could final on Worlds, but this “think” that US trials is harder is not a reality for the other events anymore but many swim fans/networks on US still say that as if it were a reality

commonwombat

That’s essentially right. The whole US Trials is tougher than Olympics really doesn’t stand up to scrutiny these days. There are specific events where finishers outside 1-2 will swim a time that would potentially final but this is not valid across the board.

Nor is this exclusive to USA. This could be just as applicable to the male BRS events at GBR Trials; women’s back & 100free at AUS Trials; most probably a couple of events at French or Japanese Trials as well.

What will actually happen at any of these national Trials is something we cannot know for certain. Events do not necessarily occur according to any linear pattern or plan. People may well “tighten up” under pressure and not perform whilst there are always going to be those who’s “one brief shining moment” coincides with these meets. We’ll just have to wait and see.

ThereaLuigi

Welll…
Let’s take the 2012 US Trials, the closest reference. Just the male side, the weaker side in that edition. The 3d time would have been good enough to final in London for the following races: 50 free, 200 free, 1500 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, 400 IM. That’s 7 out of 13 individual events.

Craig Lord

Which translated with 13 out of a possible 26 solo medals, with 6 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze, no medals in 3 solo events, medals in 10.

commonwombat

With due respect, that is 2012 and we are talking now rather than 4 years ago. I will certainly grant that there are always “bolters” at these events but at this point we can only make reasonable conjecture regarding “known commodities”.

A goodly number of their male prime movers are still prominent …. but another 4 years older. This is no disrespect at all to them but the fact that they are in positions of dominance in so many events has to be somewhat of a concern from a depth perspective.

Of the 2012 events that you listed; I’d agree automatically with 100fly, 400IM, 100 back and quite possibly 200back. 200free is coming off 2 “slow years”; as yet we don’t know whether there will be a “step-up” in this Olympic year or not. Others …. very much in the “maybe” rather than likely box.

On the women’s side, there will be a few such events but I’d be surprised to see more than 4 in this category.

ThereaLuigi

It just came to my mind that Ricky Berens, who was 3d at Trials and was given the spot in the 200 free solo by Phelps, in the end did NOT final in London. He swam slower at the Olympics than at the Trials!

Yozhik

Being a very curious child at age of five or so I disturbed once a hornet nest with the stick โ€“ and enjoyed after that all following consequences. It looks like I had not learned my lesson ๐Ÿ™‚
Since I was politely commended by Craig not to irritate people even if they deserve it, I wonโ€™t respond despite I have so, so much to say ๐Ÿ™‚
But I am allowed to say some nice thing to nice person, am I not, Craig.
Luigi, I was touched ๐Ÿ™‚ You sound like a person who understands a lot of things about sport and life in general. And this is the response from โ€˜nature boyโ€™ who can appreciate it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq0XJCJ1Srw

Craig Lord

You are allowed to both irritate and say nice things, Yozhik, and I trust you know when views have been fully expressed and have collided without any hope of harmony on their way to the black hole of all things beyond their shelf-life (energy best used elsewhere in the creation of new worlds, perhapsโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ™‚

ThereaLuigi

Yozhik, I am not half as wise as you make me to be, but thank you anyway for the kind words and the musical response ๐Ÿ™‚

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