Florent Manaudou Books His Ticket To Olympic Dash Defence In Rio On 21.42

French fury: Florent Manaudou - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Locked out of the 100m with a third place in the solo this week at French Championships in Montpellier, Olympic champion Florent Manaudou placed his fury and ambition into the defence of his London 2012 crown with a cracking 21.42 ticket to Rio.

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Locked out of the 100m with a third place in the solo this week at French Championships in Montpellier, Olympic champion Florent Manaudou placed his fury and ambition into the defence of his London 2012 crown with a cracking 21.42 ticket to Rio.



Let’s see what Dressel can do at US trials.
But what Dressel did in NCAA and the so-so swims by Manaudou at the French trials means that the Rio result of men 50 free may not turn out to be less decisive as the prediction just few months ago.


… may not turn out to be as decisive as..


Apart from the men’s 100 free which shows quite a depth, the French trials results are quite underwhelming. The only swimmer that showed improvement is Stravius. Let’s see if he can even get faster in 100 free.

One year ago, I was still penciling French men to be 4×200 medalists, but now I am putting them in the third tier for 4-6 positions.

Laure Manaudou and Camille Muffat cloaked the severe weakness on the women’s side. And now that weakness is thoroughly exposed. Can’t see any medal chance from the French ladies.


Aswimfan, don´t forget Adrian and Fratus


I think Manaudou will be the ‘monster’ heavy favourite without the need to worry about the 100.
Right now, there are only 3 guys on his tail:
Dressel-The two past Olympic gold medallists tell its tale.He is young and on the rise, and that1s good, but I fear he winning US Trials in a time like 21.30 could change the things and put on his back the favourite title and make him fail under pressure.Cielo and Manaudou weren’t favourites at their time.
Adrian-Always a powerful swim, consistent beyond the years, but have a bad habit of trying to be the fastest 50 and 100guy at the SAME meeting.There is always a cost trying to do that.
Fratus- Have one of the best last 15 meters of the World(Adrian’s words), but his start still is very inconsistent.It’s hard to dig in beyond the splash of huge bodies like Adrian and Manaudou.Hawke improved his start and first 15 meters by 0.2, but his best still is near 0.4 behind Florent Manaudou best.


I agree entirely with aswimfan on the underwhelming results at French trials. I can only see two realistic chances of a medal – Florent Manaudou in the 50FS and the men’s 4X100FS. Jeremy Stravius did well in the 100/200FS but would have to bring his times down meaningfully to be a contender and I can’t really see it happening. The same goes for Camille Lacourt in the 100BK. I’m sure the French will find a way to give a berth to Yannick Agnel in the 200FS but it would be a tall order for him to get remotely close to the 1.43 level he was at in 2012 or even 1.44 which is what it will probably take to win a medal. On the women’s side the French team has always been weak and this looks like being the weakest team in quite some time. I can’t see any medals for the women and only a few finals appearances – the best chances lie with Coralie Balmy in the 200/400FS.


In all honesty, the French Trials were a much needed reality check to a lot of swim fans/pundits (actually less on this site than elsewhere) who’ve been predicting WRs left, right and centre during “Trials season” and “X will swim this/Y will swim that”.

These French trials basically showed “where French swimming really is at”. Is there reason to question French selection policy ? Yes; but much less for their QTs but for the various discretional “outs” they have written in which will render selection far more discretional than it should be.

As for AUS & GBR; do not surprise if they play out somewhat similarly. Both have areas of quality in depth and both have large areas of “non-competitiveness” where no one will warrant selection.

GBR’s QTs are better with regards to weeding out the likely tourist but it will be interesting to see how strongly officialdom will “hold the line”. Unfortunately, AUS will still send a considerably larger team than quality warrants.

As per the WRs; whilst they are possible at both neither are they high probabilities. If there were more than one (if that) at either then it would be a major surprise.


Craig, is the information correct that Kelsi Worrell swam 100 free at 54.37 in France. If it is so then she should be ranked as Hosszu. Thanks

Craig Lord

It is; and she’s there, Yozhik. Thanks. Full French meet in the depths will be in database sometime this week. I catch what I can live. KW clocked her time in heats.


No problem. Glad to be helpful.


Am I the only one to think Manaudou trials were not bad by any means? In the 50 he posted a 21.4 which is a monster swim, and would be NR in many countries. In the 100, he swam exactly as he was supposed to, as every primary 50 freestyler has ever had to swim if he wanted success in the 100: go out hard and hold on for dear life on the way back (see Ervin in Fukuoka 2001, but also Schoeman in Athens, and others). He swam a little bit too fast in the front end, but he also had to deal with monster swims by two of his countryfellows. But his time was a pretty decent time if you ask me.
Agnel then. Agnel reminds me of a lost Ian Thorpe in the years from 2004 on. He is just not there with the head any more. It was not Bob Bowman who broke him. His travel to Baltimore was a symptom, not the cause.



Manadou’s swims were excellent indeed,…IF.. They weren’t by Florent.

He swam sub 48 in December reportedly unshaven and unrested. So, this trials swim is disappointing in light of the fact that he is fully shaven and fully tapered. Additionally, didn’t he declare that he was going to swim 47.4?

And 21.4 is a ho hum swim for him. Especially after his disappointment finishing third in 100 and prediction by some posters here that he would swim monster 50.

So yes, all in all, not bad swims. But they are underwhelming.


“So yes, all in all, not bad swims. But they are underwhelming”

Or as Yozhik called it “routine”.


D Dias, A Popov didn’t have to many problems with the 50 & 100 for many years….as for the French i wouldn’t be reading too much into them. They still have Euros & i would say their main medal hopes have a fair bit left to show. Manadou & Lacourt primarily will be considerably quicker at Rio & their 4×100 Fs has so many options that no other nation has.


Aswimfan, I think that sometimes pressure makes it easier to swim fast in unimportant meets, although unshaven and all, than at national trials. Here, they had the additional pressure of having to record very tough times.

As for Manaudou’s big mouth, it might be a way to release pressure (remember Gary Hall?).



I agree with you in general about pressure often makes someone swim slower. Although I’m a bit skeptical if it was the pressure that caused Florent not delivering his best swims. He is current world and Olympics champion in 50 free, an event with the least margin of error. Pressure is his friend. And it’s only French trials. He can qualify while swimming in his sleep.

About his big mouth, I do agree that some personality thrives on talking big.


All true ASF, but the 50 is his pet event. It’s the event that he is naturally gifted to swim and knows like the back of his hand (trivia for you: in my native language, it would be “like the palm of his hand”. Odd). The 100 is something that he will never be as good at. The swimmers I mentioned above, they were able to pull off egregious swims in the 100 at times, but they were always more successful in the 50. It’s going to be like that for Manaudou as well. He will swim a 47 here and there, or swim a stellar relay leg, but will never be as dominant in the 100 as he is (or has been? we will see) in the 50.


Your comparison of Florent to Earvin and Schoeman is pretty apt. I’ll throw in another name as well: Morozov.
Morozov has swum 47.6 but never swam another one anywhere close to that mark. His 2013 Barcelona 100 free final was a classic swim as fast as you can in the first 50 and hold onto dear life on the second half. The female equivalent could be Abbey Weitzeil.
All of these swimmers are fantastic 50 free sprinters but never quite comfortable in 100.
As Florent said after his 100 free in montpellier: “I swam very well until the 75m”.
For these swimmers, 75m is their ideal event.


75, or even 90, sometimes!

I had Morozov in mind as well, I did not mention him only because he has been off the radar for a while and I have a bad feeling about him, which I should not voice here until I see anything conclusive. But the time when he swam a sub 22 to the feet (was it at Barcelona 2013?), and then died like a man swimming in quicksand on his way back, is one of the most spectacular instances of suicide-by-front speed I ever witnessed.


ps I see now that you had mentioned Barcelona 2013 exactly. I overlooked it.

David Brooks

I’m a bit late on this, but Stavius’s improvement over the 100 Fly leads me to wonder who has the combined all-time best at 100 free, fly and back?
I assume it’s Phelps or Lochte, or am I missing other candidates? Would Czesh be ahead of Stravius among Europeans?
Frivolous, I know, but it peaked my interest.


the best male 100 free/fly/back would be Phelps.
the best female 100 free/fly/back would be Sjostrom


Yes but Phelps has bests including shiny suits period…(fly at least…).
Anyway he remains the best and Stravius is probably very far of the 2 above mentionned on breaststroke.
But you are right to ask, Stravius is a very complete swimmer (I would like to know how fast he would on 400FS if ever he would focus on…).
I’m pretty sure that his 200 FS of Montpellier is far from what he is capable of! He had a very slow 3rd 50m). We’ll see this summer if ever he is still in good shape.


What are Stravius’ best times in 200 and 400 IM?

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