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LONDON, England, July 24. THE French are looking to win at least six medals, with two of the gold variety, at the 2012 London Olympics according to their national team director Christian Donze.
“Our objective is six medals, with two of them gold,” Donze said. “We have strong competition in the men's 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle and the women's 400m freestyle. Competition is a confrontation and you must give your best in one single moment. That is when you are on the starting blocks for the final.”
Donze also puts the Aussies at the top of the heap as favorites in the men's 400 free relay, but sees France as a potential threat to the podium.
“The Australians are the favorites but we know, because we have a lot of experience, that being favorite is not necessarily a good approach,” Donze said. “But on paper, the Australian swimmers are the favorites. There are three or four teams that could be on the podium. The US, Russia, France and maybe Italy or Brazil.”
Donze is hopeful for the French in the men's 400 free relay, as he feels that the squad has plenty of strong swimmers available to swim any leg.
“This relay is very explosive,” Donze said. “A good team is one with four very strong personalities. Alain Bernard (the Beijing 100 free victor) is maybe only on the relay because he is very talented and experienced. We also have Fabien Gilot, who was fifth in the last world championships (in Shanghai, 2011) and Yannick Agnel who is ranked third in 2012.”