By John Lohn
NANCY, France, April 15. FRED Bousquet has been living a dream for the past month. Just a few weeks after making NCAA history, the sprint sensation opened the French Nationals earlier this week with a victory in the 50 freestyle. During the past two days, he’s added a couple of more titles.
Guaranteeing himself invitations to this summer’s World Championships in Montreal, Bousquet took top honors in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly on the second and third days of action. En route to victory in the 100 free, Bousquet set a French record with a time of 49.06. He was followed in second by Amaury Leveaux (50.08). For good measure, Bousquet bested the field in the 100 butterfly, as his 53.31 was quicker than the 53.80 of Romain Barnier.
Prior to leaving for the French Nationals, Bousquet powered Auburn to its third consecutive NCAA crown. During the competition, Bousquet clocked 18.74 for the 50-yard free and became the first man in history to break the 19-second barrier.
Laure Manaudou, a three-time medalist in the Athens, continued her winning ways. The winner of the 800 free on Day One, Manaudou spent the past two days collecting crowns in the 50 back (29.28) and the 400 freestyle, where she’s the reigning Olympic champ. Manaudou’s 400 free win arrived in a championship record of 4:06.89. Second place went to Costa Rica’s Claudia Poll (4:13.54).
A sensational meet has also been managed by Nicolas Rostoucher. After setting a national record in the 400 individual medley (4:18.09), Rostoucher won the 400 free in a championship-record mark of 3:50.80. Meanwhile, Malia Metella has continued to flourish. The Olympic silver medalist in the 50 free won the 100 free Thursday in 55.12, ahead of Solenne Figues’ time of 55.45. Metella then added the 100 butterfly, where she clocked 59.66, better than the 59.91 of Alena Popchanka (Belarus).
Other winners have been Mathieu Lacome in the 50 back (26.19), Anne Sophie Le Paranthoen (2:32.17) and Hugues Duboscq (2:14.50) in the 200 breaststroke, Cylia Vabre in the 400 I.M. (4:50.70) and Alexandra Putra (2:10.38) and Simon DuFour (2:01.35) in the 200 backstroke.