Vive La France! Gaul Has The Gall To Do It Again

Marseilles teammates Florent Manaudou and Fabien Gilot celebrate Gaul's win [Photo: Patrick Kraemer]

A tremendous third leg by Fabien Gilot enabled France to rally from back in the pack and pick up the gold medal in a hotly contested 400 freestyle relay. The French, which also relied on Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou [pictured] and Jeremy Stravius backed up their title from last summer’s Olympic Games by getting to the wall ahead of the United States and Russia, the Australians shut out again with a fourth-place finish.

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A tremendous third leg by Fabien Gilot enabled France to rally from back in the pack and pick up the gold medal in a hotly contested 400 freestyle relay. The French, which also relied on Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou [pictured] and Jeremy Stravius backed up their title from last summer’s Olympic Games by getting to the wall ahead of the United States and Russia, the Australians shut out again with a fourth-place finish.



USA blew it. Should NOT have used Ryan, he was not the fastest swimmer.
Fire the person who made this bum decision.


I honestly think the Aussie staff NEED to play computer game or chess or whatever where you devellop strategy cause they absolutely have NO brain what soever in deciding the relay positions …

Why on Earth wouldn’t you make Magnussen swim the morning series to gauge his form considering the horrible last 12 months he had ( I mean more psychologically in terms of loosing unloosable race). He basically arrive on the block with the last memory he had from a big meet being the Olympics … Stupid

Why would you make him swim against Adrian on the Lead off when it’s exactly where he missfired in London and Adrian since then has become his “bête noire”. It’s like if the staff wanted him to replay the London scenario !!

And finally WHY on earth stick with roberts when To had the better swim in the morning !

I know it’s easy to criticize after but still I think the aussie staff need to learn a lot in terms of relay strategy.

I’m super happy with Mcevoy time !!! he is every meet becoming more and more impressive !! he might actually be the future of Australia sprint freestyle instead of Magnussen/Roberts.
The individual will be really revealing for both swimmer ! Can Mcevoy improve and more importantly : does Magnussen have weak nerve ? It’s only the first race so far but if he screws up his whole championship like last year then he really need to do a lot more psychological training !


Jeez. Can everyone get off the “let’s beat on Ryan” train. He was NOT the slowest in the race. Wanna lay the blame somewhere, look at Feigen. With a “flying start” he only managed a 48.23.


I really felt that Ricky Berens should have had a leg in the relay. He was 47.56 in the heats and has soooo much experience as a relay swimmer. I can understand why the US chose Feigen over Berens though, since he’s been 48.2, but if the Americans had a 47.56 anchor, they would have won the gold. Hind sight’s 20-20


Australia lost the race in the changeovers, at least 0.5 slower than the other 3 nations


Victoire des Français!!!!!!!

Epic battle again, only 0.4 seconds between the Big Fours!
Awesome splits for the 3rd anchors Gilot (46.90), Morozov (47.40) and Ervin (47.44). It seems that the podium has been decided here.
With Mcevoy (47.44) as the 2nd Anchor for Australia, the Big Fours were well represented!

I agree with Belgium_kangoo, and in my opinion in a few years, Morozov and Mcevoy will be the new star sprint performers!
But i half-disagree with you for the Australian relay composition. Roberts in 48.53 at start versus To in 48.05 as 3rd Anchor, i would have kept Roberts too. Mathematically, he’s supposed to gain at least 0.5 as 4th Anchor.
But i would have put him in second or third position! The most logic I think, was to put Mcevoy as 4th Anchor, or Magnussen to avoid London situation!

But, well, if they had won, i would be talking about the french or russian or US relay compo right now… There is always something to review in these relay events…

Bad story for the Russians… but they were on their peak at the wrong event!

Kind of impressed by the Americans! I thought they would have been out of podium this time without Phelps, Jones, Lezak… For sure they will always be performant in 400 free relays!

I can’t wait the 800 free relay now! Let’s see if USA is able to manage it as well as before without Sir Michael Phelps!


Relays are all about where to swim your best swimmers. Feigen managed 48.39 in the heats from a flat start, if he lead off with that, and the USA had Adrian anchor, the USA might have won the race. Feigen is pretty new to that kind of pressure, and to stick him as an anchor in a race that was going to be down to the wire was a bit of an error. When i saw his name for anchor i was like “OMG, good luck buddy”
France had an average first half but what an amazing second.
Stand out swimmer for me was Ant Ervin, two solid relay splits and an amazing first 50! He will surprise later in the meet (50 free i hope)


Thrilling race, despite some terrible camera work (certainly the BBC-commissioned footage!).

Overall, quite subdued from the big guns – Magnussen, Adrian, Agnel and to a lesser extent Morozov. Agree with the previous comment about Aussie strategy. It beggars belief really.

Well done to France though, a stand-out performance from Gilot and steady nerve from Stravius is all it needed in the end against the lacklustre performance of the other teams.

The splits sheet makes for some very amusing reading

More than half a second for the changeover for D’orsogna? I’d expect to do that in masters relays with a hangover!

And the Italians? 0.03, 0.02, 0.00. That’s what we would do in a masters relay if we were behind and the race marshalls looked a bit on the elderly side!


lol at the italians change overs =D

I hadn’t seen that in the heat of the moment but god those italians have been playing with fire (or water in this particular case =) )

anywayz I agree with everyone that the “poor” swimmer from the Us was feigen and put him as anchor also shows the staff sometimes needs to learn strategy !!

On the opposite, the french seem to have learn from their mistakes and have been perfect strategy wise both in london and here (and not only because they won 😉 but their best splits were at the crucial moment of the race)

I’d like to know your opinion though on why are so many teams (Oz in particular) literraly obsessed with front loading ??? If I was swimming a relay at world level I’d rather be chasing and gaining on somebody than seeing somebody swim me down …
You might say that the aussies had a big lead (women relay) and had an advantage but it completely disapearred as soon as the US started coming back, which was unevitable given that australia had already fired its two best swimmers …

Staff in many team seem to forget how important the psychological edge is in a race and a relay in particular. Just look at Lezak in 2008, Agnel last year, Stravius this year, Romano this year, and the list goes on and on and on …

I can’t wait to be in the stands on Friday/sat and sun to see this amazing racing live !!! Such amazing races thus far !


Wow! Ye


Wow! Yes the italians really played with fire! Or were really confident! Anyway, they have been in this top 5 relays for so many years… With Magnini always on duty!!

By the way, I just noticed Orsi time! 47.25 with a 21.74 split! Even considering the 0.02 RT, it’s still impressive! Let’s see if the solo event is about the same level!


Belgium_kangoo…my opinion exactly…
the failure of australian relay team should be on the shoulders of the selectors…

i think Magnussen doesnt have the confidence anymore, despite the big talk. 48secs with 25sec on the second half is not him.
Proud of McEvoy….hope he will do well in the individual events.

For 100mfr, i predict Adrian or Morozov as top contender for gold…Magnussen is good enough to be on the podium, but definitely not as the champion.


Yeah Zach, I ‘m really hoping Magnussen can turn it around and win the 100 free but realistically speaking I wouldn’t bet a large sum of money on it =s that’s how weak he is psychologically !! and I think that if he screws up the 100m he might be broken psychologically for a long time. How can guy who swims so well and so fast just produce nothing in relays of both london and here plus so far from what he has easily achieved during the year =s
So either he is sick and we don’t know or he really really really need to do psychological training ASAP.

The strength of the americans is to be Ironman in terms of psychology, mainly because the density is so great over there that if they fail they won’t face the same criticism and thus less pressure on their shoulders to perform well. There will always be another american who performs well. Plus they have the NCAA and so many meets throughout the year to fine tune their skills.

On the other hand, the aussies swim against aussies most of the time so less competition and there’s only a few who can actually win gold so much much more pressure ….

Anywayz my point is the aussie staff need a complete transformation of the team, they need to add psychological training big time and they need to increase the amount of racing the guys do per year !!! Otherwise … australia will keep getting silvers or nothing when the big meet comes along.

They have the prospect of an amazing team for Rio (so many youngsters plus all the good kids coming up who are only 14-16 now), I just really hope the staff don’t screw the whole thing up by being narrow minded in terms of what the team needs !!


I dont mind and will be happy if i’m wrong (..and he wins with WR time…!!)

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