CHALON SUR SAONE, France, December 5. WITH the European Short Course Championships scheduled for Thursday through Sunday in Trieste, Italy, France’s Laure Manaudou appears to be in prime condition. During the French Short Course Championships over the weekend, Manaudou established a European record in the 400-meter freestyle with a sparkling time of 4:00.20.
Manaudou’s swim shattered the former record of 4:01.26, set in 2002 by the Ukraine’s Yana Klochkova. Manaudou is coming off a summer in which she won gold at the World Championships in Montreal in the long-course version of the 400 freestyle.
The Frenchwoman has enjoyed a splendid two-year run, as she walked away from the Athens Olympics in 2004 with a trifecta of medals. Aside from collecting gold in the 400 free, obviously her pet event, Manaudou left Greece with a silver medal in the 800 freestyle and picked up a bronze medal in the 100 backstroke.