PHOENIX, Arizona, November 21. YANNICK Agnel and Camille Muffat will be the top swimmers to watch this weekend at the short course European championships, which begins tomorrow in Chartres, France. Agnel and Muffat broke world records last weekend at the French nationals, and will likely try to break more in front of a home crowd. Also one to watch is Katinka Hosszu, who just came off a successful World Cup and could be a factor in the butterfly and individual medley events.
Florent Manaudou, the Olympic champion in the 50 freestyle, will be a factor in that event, as well as the 50 butterfly. Manaudou was originally France's best butterflyer until this year. His sister, Laure, is bucking talk of retirement and is scheduled to swim backstroke and IM events this weekend.
Europe's other male 2012 Olympic champion, Daniel Gyurta, is not on Hungary's roster for the meet, leaving the men's 200 breast wide open for any challengers. Also not competing this weekend are Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, who told Swimming World that her training focus was on next summer's world championships, and Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania, who won the 100 breast in London.
A couple of other notable names are scheduled to race this weekend. Vladimir Morozov, who helped Russia win bronze in the 400 free relay and is a junior at the University of Southern California, will compete in several sprint events. And former NCAA champion Damir Dugonjic will look to take the European titles in the sprint breaststroke races.
We'll bring you up-to-the-minute results from the meet on swimmingworld.com.
Things will be pretty quiet here in the United States, at least competition-wise, as families across the country celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Most swimmers, however, won't be able to completely relax, with the USA Swimming short course yards nationals starting next Thursday in Austin, Texas.
Streamlined News will be enjoying the holiday as well. We'll be back on Monday with news from the European championships.