DUNKERQUE, France, March 20. NO one has been on fire as much as Camille Muffat at the French Olympics Trials over the past two days. Muffat posted a textile best and French record in the women's 400 free yesterday, and followed that up with a national standard in the 200 free during semifinals today. Yannick Agnel also followed up with a French record of his own. Meanwhile, Laure Manaudou clinched her third Olympic appearance in a row.
Men's 200 free
Cuts: Finals: 1:47.82
Yannick Agnel not only captured an individual Olympic roster spot, he also downed the French record with a top-ranked time of 1:44.42. On top of blasting his top-ranked effort of 1:45.52 from Nice last month, he cut half-a-second from his French record of 1:44.99 from the 2011 World Championships. He leapfrogged from 10th all time to fifth, ahead of Ryan Lochte (1:44.44). Only Paul Biedermann (1:42.00), Michael Phelps (1:42.96), Danila Izotov (1:43.90) and Ian Thorpe (1:44.06) have been faster. He also close the distance towards the textile best of 1:43.86 posted by Phelps at the 2007 World Championships.
In an exciting finish for second-place, Amaury Leveaux clipped Gregory Mallet, 1:46.72 to 1:46.77, for the final individual Olympic roster spot in the event. Meanwhile, Clement Lefert took fourth with a 1:46.90 to set up a strong 800 free relay for the French as all four swimmers cleared the FINA A cut in the individual event.
Romain Magula (1:49.72), Lorys Bourelly (1:50.39), Guillaume Strohmeyer (1:50.52) and Mehdy Metella (1:50.53) also swam in the finale.
Women's 50 fly
Anna Santamans topped the sprint fly in 26.64, while Justine Bruno took second in 26.82. Angela Tavernier completed the top three with a third-place time of 27.12. Melanie Henique (27.15), Diane Bui Duyet (27.28), Beryl Gastaldello (27.30), Camille Lavergne de Cerval (28.10) and Alison Leger (28.15) rounded out the championship heat.
Women's 100 back
Cuts: Heats: 1:02.70; Semis: 1:01.36; Finals: 1:00.82
Laure Manaudou completed her comeback from a retirement that spanned Sept.2009 to July 2011 with her third straight Olympic bid. Manaudou successfully navigated the multi-tiered French qualifying for the event. She led prelims with a 1:00.42, while taking second in semis with a 1:00.58. Tonight, she nearly cleared 1:00 with a winning time of 1:00.16. Tonight's swim pushed her to sixth in the world rankings.
In London, she will be looking to get back to her form, which netted her World Swimming of the Year honors from Swimming World in 2007, as well as a medal trifecta of gold, silver and bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In 2008, she missed the podium altogether.
Alexianne Castel earned the second spot on the French Olympic roster with a 1:00.56 in finals. She also bettered the three-tiered qualification system with a 1:01.04 in prelims and a 1:00.34 in semis.
The third woman out was Cloe Credeville, who had been eligible heading into finals with a 1:01.24 in both the heats and semis. She fell a bit short with a third-place 1:00.95 tonight.
Aleksandra Putra of Poland (1:02.28), Pauline Galateau (1:03.35), Marie Jugnet (1:03.46), Mathiled Cini (1:03.58) and Laura Savariau (1:04.33) also vied for the national title.
Men's 100 back
Cuts: Finals: 54.40
Camille Lacourt cruised to his first Olympic bid with a winning tie of 52.75, jumping to the top of the world rankings with the swim. That effort bested the 53.16 posted by Liam Tancock at the British Trials earlier this month. It also came within a second of his textile best time of 52.11, that ranks second only to Aaron Peirsol's world record of 51.94.
Ben Stasiulius edged Jeremy Stravius, 53.98 to 54.04, for the second spot on the Olympic roster in the event, as both bettered the FINA A cut. The outcome was an upset as Stravius is the reigning world champion in the 100 back. Dorian Gandin (55.10), Eric Ress (55.19), Pierre Roger (55.31), Alexis Cabrol (55.81) and Joris Hustache (55.90) made up the rest of the championship heat.
Women's 100 breast
Cuts: Semis: 1:09.03; Finals: 1:08.49
Morocco's Sara El Bekri topped the finale in 1:09.60, while no Frenchwoman secured a spot on the Olympic roster for an individual swim. Fanny Babou (1:10.37) and Coralie Dobral (1:10.60) put themselves in position to earn a bid for the 400 medley relay. Claire Polit (1:10.66), Sophie De Ronchi (1:11.07), Andrea Baudry (1:11.53), Julia Vendeville (1:11.81) and Adeline Martin (1:12.76) placed fourth through eighth.
Women's 1500 free
Camelia Potec topped the distance freestyle event in 16:25.62, the top time in the world this year. That swim eclipsed the 16:27.50 posted by Melissa Gorman at the Australian Trials. Aurelie Muller (16:35.89), Celia Barrot (16:45.01), Ophelie Aspord (16:57.81), Coralie Codevelle (16:58.63) and Johanne Laizeau (17:35.38) also swam in the only heat contested.
Women's 200 free
Cuts: Finals: 1:58.83
A day after setting a French record in the women's 400 free with a textile best time of 4:01.13, Camille Muffat threw down another French record in the 200 free semis with a sterling time of 1:55.40. That swim put her second in the world behind Sarah Sjostrom's 1:55.23 from British Trials, but clipped Laure Manaudou's French record of 1:55.52 from 2007 World Championships. Muffat now stands eight all time after also bettering Yang Yu's 1:55.47 from the 2009 World Championships. She will be shooting for the textile best of 1:55.06 owned by Missy Franklin as a relay leadoff at the 2011 World Championships.
Charlotte Bonnet took second in 1:58.80, while Coralie Balmy (1:59.37) and Ophelie-Cyrielle Etienne (1:59.42) finished third and fourth to comprise the rest of the sub-2:00 performances. Margaux Farrell (2:00.03), Mylene Lazare (2:00.10), Coralie Codevelle (2:02.25) and Isabelle Mabboux (2:02.45) also made their way into finals to shoot for not only an individual Olympic spot, but also a spot on the 800 free relay.
Men's 200 fly
Cuts: Heats: 2:00.50; Semis: 1:58.69; Finals: 1:56.86
Jordan Coelho became the only person that can secure an Olympic roster spot in the event after leading semis with a 1:57.63. Along with Thomas Vilaceca (1:59.72), Coelho bettered the prelims cut with a 1:59.45. Tonight, however, Vilaceca fell out of the running with a second-place 2:00.06 to miss the semi cut of 1:58.69. Coelho will need to clear 1:56.86 to guarantee an Olympic spot during finals.
Paul Lemaire (2:01.89), Hugo Tormento (2:02.03), Marvin Maisonneuve (2:02.04), Arnaud Rondan (2:04.52), Maxime Jacomelli (2:04.62) and Maxime Andrien (2:04.96) also will compete in the finale.
Women's 200 IM
Cuts: Semis: 2:15.03; Finals: 2:13.36
After becoming the first swimmer to earn an Olympic roster spot for the French with a 4:40.12 in the women's 400 IM, Lara Grangeon is now the only swimmer eligible to make the team in the finale with a 2:13.97 in semis. That swim pushed her to 22nd in the world.
Sophie De Ronchi fell short of the semifinal cut with a second-place 2:17.10 after leading prelims with a 2:16.56. Adeline Martin (2:18.97) and Fantine Lesaffre (2:19.58) placed third and fourth. Roxane Desfontaines (2:20.79), Camille Amardeilh (2:21.00), Rebecca Matthews (2:21.14) and Julie Fourtier (2:22.14) picked up the rest of the transfer spots into the finale.