Decade In The Mirror: Liz Byrnes – My Top 10 European Moments Led By Adam Peaty’s Venture Into Outer Orbit

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Adam Peaty - Olympic immortality in 57.13sec - Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Liz Byrnes, Swimming World’s new European Correspondent, hones in on the achievements of Adam Peaty, one of the most outstanding pioneers on the pool in swimming history, as her No1 pick in our series looking back at our favourite moments of the decade about to end. Liz’s list is rich with some of the biggest performance highlights of 2010-2019.

Our Decade in the Mirror series of Top 10s so far:

Liz Byrnes’ Top 10 Through The Lens Of A European Correspondent

1. Adam Peaty and his foray deeper into uncharted waters in the Olympic gladiatorial arena 

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Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

When City of Derby head coach Mel Marshall first saw Adam Peaty in the pool, it’s fair to say she wasn’t overly impressed.

The 14-year-old had accompanied a friend to Marshall’s club after first competing for Dove Valley in his hometown of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.

However, after witnessing his freestyle, Marshall put him in the slow lane with the younger girls.

Then came the moment she saw him doing breaststroke and the 2001 world relay silver medallist realised she had something very special on her hands.

Under Marshall’s watchful eye, Peaty made his international debut at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, winning 100m gold and 50m silver behind Cameron van der Burgh.

He would remain unbeaten until the following Commonwealths in 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia, where that man Van der Burgh again won the one-length race before retiring.

Back to 2015 and the British Championships at the Aquatics Centre, scene of the 2012 Olympic competition.

It was there that Peaty set his first world record, becoming the first man to crack the 58-second barrier in 57.92, taking 0.54 off Van Der Burgh’s mark en-route to gold in 2012.

It was the moment when for the first time a breaststroke swimmer – on the ‘slowest stroke’ – matched the speed of Johnny ‘Tarzan’ Weissmuller en-route to the Olympic gold in 1924.

He went on to win the breaststroke double at his first World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in July that year.

He also set a new world record in the second semi-final of the 50m breaststroke, minutes after Van Der Burgh had lowered the previous mark.

No British man had won Olympic swimming gold since Adrian Moorhouse in 1988, also in the 100m breaststroke, but Peaty was happy to embrace the attention that was coming his way going into Rio 2016.

So too did he embrace the occasion, his first visit to the pool serving to confirm his self-belief and his reason for being there which was to win the gold and the gold alone.

There was a world record of 57.55 in the heats before he qualified 1.43secs ahead of the second-best in the semis.

Come the final and Peaty produced an astonishing performance, the first British man to win an Olympic swimming title in 28 years, and a world record of 57.13secs, with a winning margin of 1.56secs – roughly a body length with Van Der Burgh just about able to get his fingertips to Peaty’s feet in second.

There was also the first sub-57 split in history in the 4x100m medley relay – a time of 56.59 as the British quartet won silver – that so bewildered Michael Phelps, the 23-time Olympic champion described it as “one of the grossest swims I have ever seen”.

A stroke rate higher than his rivals – out in 21 and back in 25 – despite his 6ft 3in height and ability to sustain rate and efficiency is one of the keys to his success.

So too a team around him that will leave no stone unturned in their bid to help him to go even further into outer orbit.

On winning gold in Rio, Peaty at once set his sights on Project 56, something he achieved in July in Gwangju, when he did what few thought possible in the close future back before Peaty’s emergence when he went 56.88 in the semi-finals of the World Championships.

In a single event, Peaty is the most dominant man in modern swimming history.

2. Hats off as Milak flies into the record books by downing iconic Phelps mark 

Kristof Milak of Hungary celebrates after winning in the men's 200m Butterfly Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 24 July 2019.

Kristof Milak celebrates victory in Gwangju in world-record time. Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Michael Phelps, Bob Bowman and Chad le Clos all doffed imaginary hats after Kristof Milak became the fastest man in history over 200m butterfly.

The Hungarian produced an astonishing second half at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, to hit the wall in 1:50.73 and cut 0.78secs from the mark set by Phelps, wearing a 2008 shiny suit, at the 2009 worlds in Rome, Italy.

The 19-year-old had won his first European junior title in 2016 before going on to world junior and Youth Olympic success.

There was 100m fly silver at a home World Championships in Budapest and along the way there was a European senior title in 2018 in Glasgow in 1:52.79 – a championship record.

Eyes were focused on Milak coming into South Korea and he looked ominous in his heat when he cruised to 1:54.19 followed by a 1:52.96 in the semis, 2.3secs quicker than the best of the rest.

Come the final and the teenager was venturing into waters unknown, reaching the halfway point at 52.88, the exact same as Phelps en-route to world record gold in 1:51.51 almost exactly 10 years prior.

However, Milak maintained the scorching pace, going 0.36 quicker than Phelps on the third length before coming home 0.32secs inside the American’s pace on the last 50.

It was a truly incredible record.

  • 66 52.88 (28.22) 1:21.57 (28.69) 1:50.73 (29.16) Milak 2019 WR
  • 76 52.88 (28.12) 1:21.93 (29.05) 1:51.51 (29.58) Phelps 2009 WR

Phelps had held the world record – which he alone had chipped away at – for 18 years and three months.

Milak was nine when the American set the 2009 world record – too young to really take notice of the Super Fish but by the time 2012 and especially 2016 came around, the teenager was a study in concentration.

Malik was once asked by his home media if he ought to be called  “Iron Man” to Hosszu’s Iron Lady. He replied:

“What? Iron Man? No, absolutely not. I’m not looking for any kind of distinction. I will remain who I am: Kristóf Milák. I want to achieve something big as Kristóf Milák, period.”

And so he had. He had taken down one of the iconic world records.

And what did Phelps think’ He told Karen Crouse of the New York Times:

“As frustrated as I am to see that record go down, I couldn’t be happier to see how he did it. That kid’s last 100 was incredible. He put together a great 200 fly from start to finish. It happened because there was a kid who wanted to do it, who dreamed of doing it, who figured out what it would take to do it, who worked on his technique until it was beautiful and who put in the really, really hard work that it takes to do it. My hat’s off to him.”

3. Pellegrini shows the heart of a lioness to rise again after the pain of Rio and down Ledecky

federica pellegrini, katie ledecky

Photo Courtesy: SPIA USA

 La Fede. The Lioness of Verona. La divina. Swimming’s It girl. A woman who has cut a swathe in and out of the pool since taking Olympic silver in the 200 free 12 days after her 16th birthday at Athens 2004.

The first three World Championships of the decade spawned five medals – two of them gold – and 12 trips to the European podium up to 2016.

There was no Olympic medal, however, with two fifth-place finishes in the 200 and 400 free at London 2012 and fourth over 200m at Rio 2016, an outcome that devastated the Italian who talked about living in a nightmare, at a loss to explain her performance.

Some thought it the end of her career, a sorrowful finale indeed.

But if Rio had been the final chapter to the initial draft of the script, Pellegrini ripped it up into tiny little pieces.

Could she rise again? She had done it before – coming back after 400m disappointment at Beijing 2008 to set a new world record and clinch Olympic gold in the 200. There were medals galore after London 2012.

But now she was in her late 20s and girls who had grown up no doubt inspired by the Italian were now making their own mark in the water.

Specifically one Katie Ledecky, the American who had never been beaten in global waters since her astonishing debut in London five years earlier.

To the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and Ledecky was favourite for the 200m having already won the 400 and 800 gold as part of a projected freestyle clean sweep up to 1500m.

Pellegrini though had not read the script. Swimming from lane six in the final, she was fourth at halfway as Australian Emma McKeon led the field ahead of Ledecky.

Still outside the medals at 150, Pellegrini unleashed an eyebrow-raising final 50 of 28.82, the only sub-29 in the field, getting her hand first to the wall in a tight finish in 1:54.73, 0.45 ahead of Ledecky and McKeon who shared silver.

Pellegrini was joy unconfined, sitting atop a lane rope, beating the water, emotion unbridled.

She had become the first swimmer to win a medal in the same event at seven consecutive World Championships and went on to defend the title in July 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.

But it was 2017 that showed us all – if there was any doubt – that Pellegrini has the heart of a lion, a true champion who rose again 12 months after the devastation of Rio.

4. Kromowidjojo scorches to Olympic freestyle double at London 2012

Ranomi Kromowidjojo was only 15 when she made her senior debut for the Netherlands little more than a fortnight after she competed at the 2006 European Junior Championships in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

The teenager was part of the Dutch 4x100m freestyle relay that won silver at the European Championships in Budapest as they started an extraordinary goldrush at Olympic, world and European levels.

An Olympic champion and world-record holder before she had even turned 18, Kromowidjojo was still looking for her first senior individual title going into London 2012 a year after taking silver and bronze in the 50m and 100m freestyle respectively at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai.

Kromowidjojo started her competition with an astonishing performance in the freestyle relay on the first night at the Aquatics Centre.

The then 21-year-old went on the final leg, Femke Heemskerk handing over in third 1.16secs behind the USA in second and a further 0.20secs adrift of Australia but she unleashed a thundering 51.93secs, the fastest in the field by 0.72secs, as the Netherlands finished 0.45secs ahead of the USA to claim silver behind Australia.

The 100 free was up next and Kromowidjojo set an Olympic record of 53.05 in the semis, 0.07secs inside defending champion Britta Steffen’s mark from Beijing 2008.

Outside the medals at the halfway point with Aliaksandra Herasimenia, nine years after a positive drugs test, in the lead, Kromowidjojo surged to win in 53.00, another Olympic record, with the Belarus swimmer second and Tang Yi of China in third.

Come the 50 and Kromowidjojo set another Olympic record to win in 24.05 ahead of Herasimenia with fellow Dutchwoman Marleen Veldhuis taking bronze.

Kromowidjojo became only the fourth woman to win the 50-100 freestyle double after East Germany’s Kristin Otto (1988), compatriot Inge de Bruijn (2000) and Steffen in Beijing four years earlier.

5. Meilutyte becomes the youngest Olympic 100m breaststroke champion in history

Ruta Meilutyte was the architect of one of the upsets in the pool at London 2012 when she won the 100m breaststroke.

American swimmer Rebecca Soni was expected to upgrade her silver from Beijing 2008 to gold in the British capital.

But that was before the Lithuanian announced her arrival on the world stage in staggering fashion.

Just 15, Meilutyte was guided by Jon Rudd – now the Ireland coach – at Plymouth College, where she studied alongside Tom Daley.

The teenager had arrived in Britain at the age of 12 with her father Saulius – eight years after the death of her mother – and won her first international medals at the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey.

A best time of 1:07.96 that year hinted at a highly-promising career to come but as she entered London with 1:07.30 there was little expectation that gold would come so early on.

However, in heat four of six the teenager demolished her PB in 1:05.56, the fastest in the entire field.

Meilutyte then lowered it further to a European record of 1:05.21 and she suddenly found herself in the unaccustomed position of favourite.

Another test awaited ahead of the final when an issue with the timing system, which saw American Breeja Larson escape sanction after going early, delayed the race.

Meilutyte was not affected, however, and turned first at 50 on 30.56 ahead of Larson and Yulia Efimova, the Russian, who would go on to have a fractious public relationship with the Lithuanian.

Soni, who had won the previous two world titles, was expected to come on the second 50 given her 200m background and so it proved.

The American was catching with every stroke and came on to Meilutyte’s shoulder in the final two metres only for the teenager to show nerves of steel and get her hand to the wall first in 1:05.47, 0.08 ahead of Soni who took her second consecutive silver medal.

With victory, Meilutyte became the youngest gold medallist in the history of the event and Lithuania’s first Olympic champion in the pool.

She would go on to add the world title the following year in Barcelona and won every title available to her at senior, youth and junior levels.

Meilutyte announced her retirement in May 2019 following three missed drugs tests and although she accepted full responsibility, claiming she incorrectly filled out her whereabouts forms, it left a sour taste after a career during which she had won so much respect in and out of the water.

6. Hosszu makes four trips to the Olympic podium at the fourth time of asking

The 2012 Olympics were a pivotal moment in Katinka Hosszu’s life. Crushed after finishing fourth in the 400IM, the Hungarian sank into depression and considered retiring.

She resolved to continue and suggested to her boyfriend Shane Tusup, whom she had started dating while the pair were at the University of Southern California, that he become her coach.

That suggestion became a partnership and one that in time would make headlines in and out of the pool.

It paid dividends – and quickly. Within months Hosszu was back racing but now she was doing multi-event programmes over medley, fly, backstroke and freestyle.

She became known as the ‘Iron Lady’ and a year after the despair of London, she won both IMs at the 2013 worlds in Barcelona followed by six trips to the podium – three to the top step – at the 2014 Europeans In Berlin.

There were golds and world short-course records galore at the World Cup before the 2015 worlds in Kazan, Russia, where Hosszu produced an astonishing world record of 2:06.12 in the 200IM, 0.03secs inside the super-suited mark of Ariana Kukors six years earlier in Rome. There was gold in the longer medley and bronze in the 200 fly.

Hosszu was dominant. She headed into Rio with five more medals – four of them gold – from the Europeans in May.

Her form was such that she was a scorching favourite to sweep all before her.

But this was the Olympics, the gladiatorial arena in which she was so crushed by pressure and expectation four years prior.

Would those demons that had lain dormant for so long resurface? Any questions anyone may have had were answered unequivocally when Hosszu set a new European record of 4:28.58 in the 400IM heats, 0.15secs outside Ye Shiwen’s world record from that race that was so scrutinised in London.

Come the final and Hosszu destroyed the field in a performance of domination that is rarely seen at this level.

Almost two body-lengths ahead at the halfway mark, she had no challengers bar the clock which she stopped at 4:26.36, Ye’s mark obliterated by 2.07secs, as she claimed her first Olympic medal.

She hoisted herself on to the lane rope, nodded and raised her fingers to the sky before smiles on the podium.

The first act was complete. Now on to part two and the 100m backstroke. Hosszu had not been on a global long-course podium in the two-lap race but no matter. She qualified second behind Kathleen Baker, of the United States, but it was 2012 silver medallist Emily Seebohm of Australia who led at halfway.

Baker and Hosszu accelerated on the second 50 and the American was ahead with 15m to go only for the Hungarian to find that extra speed to touch in 58.45, 0.30 ahead, cueing smiles atop the lane rope and the heart-hand symbol.

Two races, two golds and up next was the 200IM in which she was unbeaten since the 2012 Games and the holder of an eye-watering world record.

She didn’t have it all her own way though. Siobhan O’Connor entered Rio on the back of an unbroken period of training, illness often having forced the Briton out of the water, and it was soon a duel between the pair.

Hosszu led by 0.08secs after butterfly, a lead she extended to 0.72secs on backstroke and she was 0.77secs ahead going into the freestyle.

O’Connor though came back at her down the final length, catching as Hosszu tired but the Hungarian held on to win in 2:06.58, 0.3secs ahead.

One more race awaited, the 200m backstroke. Would it be four races, four golds?

So it seemed after 150m when she rose almost a body-length ahead of Maya DiRado but the American attacked, moving on to Hosszu’s shoulder in the final two metres to get the touch by a brightly-painted fingernail and victory by 0.06 in 2:05.99.

And so it was done. After three Olympics without a medal, Hosszu had won four at one Games, making three trips to the top step, after a gruelling competition that saw her compete in 13 individual and relay races.

Of European women, only Kristin Otto and Kornelia Ender, products of the East German regime that cast such a dark shadow over sport, have paid more visits to the top of the podium at a single Games than Hosszu.

The Hungarian is in vaulted company alongside Dutch pair Inge de Bruijn and Rie Mastenbroek who also won three golds and a silver in 2000 and 1936 respectively.

7. Manaudou writes family history with gold at London 2012

 

It took just 21.34 seconds for Florent Manaudou to make history at the Aquatics Centre in London in 2012.

While all eyes were on defending champion Cesar Cielo in the 50m freestyle, it was the Frenchman who got his hand to the wall first.

All straight-arm stroke, the 21-year-old powered down lane seven, without a breath for the duration, to trump the battle in the centre lanes.

Cullen Jones of the United States was second in 21.54 with Cielo taking bronze a further 0.05secs adrift.

Manaudou had become the first Frenchman to win the splash and dash, four years after Amaury Leveaux and Alain Bernard had taken bronze and silver.

He had also made history as one half of the first sibling pair to win Olympic solo gold in the pool, eight years after older sister Laure was crowned 400m freestyle champion in Athens.

Victory was greeted with screams of celebration and a pounding of the water followed by an embrace on poolside from Laure.

Manaudou the elder had claimed three medals in one Games with 800 free silver and 100 backstroke bronze supplementing her eight-length crown.

There were three titles and six medals overall from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships but she could not reproduce her form at the 2008 Olympics and retired a year later, citing a lack of desire and drive since she left coach Philippe in 2007.

Florent also competed in a second Olympics but the tiniest of margins – 0.01 to be exact – kept him off the top of the podium as Anthony Ervin won gold in Rio.

He stepped away from the pool to concentrate on handball but made a comeback in 2019 with the Olympic crown in Tokyo in his sights in 2020.

8. Belmonte flies into the record books again and again

Mireia Belmonte ends the decade after writing and then rewriting the Spanish history books.

A European 200IM champion and 200 fly bronze medallist at 17 in 2008, along with 400IM gold in continental short-course waters, she had already made her mark in international waters by the time the bells rang for 2010.

It was the year that the Badalona-born swimmer began a partnership with coach Fred Vergnoux, one that continues to this day.

There was success on the world short-course stage and although that had not yet translated into global long-course medals, she finished fourth in the 400IM at the 2011 worlds in Shanghai as well as ninth and 10th in the 200 fly and 200IM respectively.

Come the Olympics in London and Belmonte’s star was firmly on the rise. She wrote her first entry in the record books when she became the first Spanish woman to win silver when she was second in the 200 fly.

Up to that point Nina Zhivanevskaya had been the only Spanish woman to have made the trip to the podium to receive a bronze medal in the 100 back at Sydney 2000.

Two days later and another trip to the second step in the 800m freestyle saw her become the first Spaniard to win two Olympic medals.

It was at the Athletes’ Village in London that Belmonte made her intentions clear to Vergnoux – gold in Rio in 2016.

He put in place a four-year plan and although there was European gold and world silvers, everything was tailored to the ultimate prize in Brazil.

Aug 10, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mirela Belmonte Garcia (ESP) celebrates after winning the women's 200m butterfly final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports

Fast forward to 6 August 2016 and the 400IM final. Belmonte was out of the medals at 350m but she tapped into the vaults of endurance she had banked through years of gruelling altitude and outings in the 1,500m free.

Ahead of her was Hannah Miley but Belmonte ate relentlessly into the deficit, catching the Briton before managing to get her hand to the wall a hair’s breadth ahead to take bronze by 0.15secs in 4:32.39.

Four days later she lined up for the 200m butterfly final, swimming from lane five alongside Maddie Groves who was comfortably the fastest qualifier.

The Australian sprinted away in the first 50 to lead by close to a body-length, 0.99secs ahead of Belmonte and Zhang Yufei of China.

Belmonte started closing in the second 50 to cut the Australian’s lead to 0.46 before a third-length surge saw the Spaniard 0.14 ahead at the final turn.

She had the momentum now but Groves wasn’t done: she came back at Belmonte with Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi also attacking in lane six.

Groves was catching in the final metres but that prize Belmonte so coveted was her’s as a nigh-on perfect finish saw her slam into the wall in 2:04.85, gold to the Spaniard by 0.03 from Groves with Hoshi in third.

A beaming Belmonte hung on the lane rope, joy emanating at a plan perfectly executed.

More history was hers. The first Spanish woman to win an Olympic swimming title and only the second Spaniard after Martin Lopez-Zubero won the 200 back in Barclelona in 1992.

Belmonte now makes up half Spain’s entire Olympic medal total in the pool.

9. Paltrinieri makes Italian history with dominant gold at Rio 2016

In the picture: Gregorio Paltrinieri ITA, 003659

Gregorio Paltrinieri – Photo Courtesy: ArenaOnly twice had a European man won the 1,500m freestyle at the Olympics going into Rio 2016.

Henry Taylor, of Great Britain, and Swede Arne Borg had made the trip to the top step in 1908 and 1928 respectively but since then it had become the domain of Australia, the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union.

Kieren Perkins and Grant Hackett ensured the world would hear ‘Advance Australia Fair’ for four consecutive Games from 1992 before Oussama Mellouli, of Tunisia, and China’s Sun Yang – both of whom would later tow a drugs positive – won in 2008 and 2012.

Sun’s time of 14:31.02 in London lowered his own world record from 2011 worlds in Shanghai but by the time Rio came around, Sun’s star was setting in the longest race.

He had caused chaos at the 2015 worlds in Kazan, Russia, when he did not show up for the final, citing a heart problem, with Paltrinieri later questioning whether the Chinese was scared of losing to him.

In Sun’s absence and with lane three left empty thereby denying Pal Joenson of the Faroe Islands a swim in the final, Paltrinieri set a European record of 14:39.67 en-route to gold.

Come Rio and Sun failed to make the final, finishing 16th more than 30 seconds outside his world record.

Paltrinieri, then 21, took over from Canada’s Ryan Cochrane after 100m and was never headed from that point.

His high stroke rate was in contrast to the longer, more languid strokes employed by the likes of Mack Horton of Australia, along with a two-beat kick.

Paltrinieri extended his lead and built an unbridgeable gap, the field tussling behind him for the minor medals.

His splits were metronomic and for much of the race he was under world-record pace and still 0.74secs inside with 100m to go.

However, it slipped away – underlining Sun’s sprint finish – but no matter. Paltrinieri was the Olympic champion, claiming gold in 14:34.57, a new European mark.

Second more than three body lengths adrift was Connor Jaeger with Paltrinieri’s team-mate Gabriele Detti replicating his 400m bronze medal.

From no medals to two in one race for Italy. Detti slipped behind Paltrinieri on the lane rope, the latter also embracing Horton after the Australian finished outside the medals.

Paltrinieri will look to defend his crown at Tokyo 2020 where he has also qualified for the 10km open water following sixth place at the worlds in Gwangju.

10. Agnel belies age with dominant 200m free victory at London 2012

Jul 30, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Yannick Agnel (FRA) poses with his gold medal after winning the men's 200m freestyle finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

There was to be a new Olympic champion in the 200m freestyle at London 2012 with Michael Phelps choosing to opt out of defending his title at the Aquatics Centre.

Given Ryan Lochte’s fine campaign at the 2011 worlds in Shanghai – where he won four individual titles – many pointed to him as favourite to step forward and take his team-mate’s crown.

Rarely are things in sport so straightforward and in that race were a number of younger swimmers who had already won medals, world and Olympic, and were hungry to climb to the top of the rostrum.

Among the finalists in Shanghai was a 19-year-old called Yannick Agnel who finished fifth in a French record time of 1:44.99, a year after winning the 100, 200 and 400 free triple at the European juniors in Helsinki, Finland.

For Agnel, there was no issue with transition from junior to senior waters and he qualified for the final in second behind fellow 20-year-old Sun Yang, the Chinese swimmer who had already won the 400 free.

What unfurled was really quite astonishing. Agnel went out hard and led after the first 50 before Park-Tae Hwan, of South Korea, began to challenge down the second length.

The Frenchman, though, turned first in 50.64 and was still ahead at the final turn, 0.63 over second-placed Lochte.

Rather than the rest of the field make inroads into Agnel’s lead, he pulled away to eventually win by more than a body length in a French record of 1:43.14, the fastest time in a textile suit in history and one that still stands today.

Sun and Park – both of whom have subsequently served doping bans – tied for second, 1.79secs adrift.  It was essentially a drubbing.

For Agnel, it was a dream come true and surpassed all his calculated expectation as he matched the exploits of his friend and Nice team-mate Camille Muffat in the 400 free, both swimmers benefiting from the guidance of Fabrice Pellerin.