Florent Manaudou To Prepare For Tokyo 2020 In Marseille Thanks To Pandemic And Politics

Florent Manaudou
Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

Former Olympic 50 free champion Florent Manaudou will train solely in Marseille as he prepares for Tokyo 2020 under the guidance of Julien Jacquier.

The Frenchman had been dividing his time between Marseille and the Energy Standard training base in Belek, Turkey where he was coached by James Gibson.

Manaudou revealed that he will be based exclusively in Marseille as he prepares for the Olympics in July where he will be looking to reach the podium at a third successive Games following gold in London and silver four years later at Rio 2016.

Partner Pernille Blume, the 2016 50 free champion, will also be based in the Mediterranean city.

The practicalities of travel and training for an Olympics during a pandemic as well as tension between Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, and Emmanuel Macron, the French premier, tipped the balance in favour of being based in Marseille.

In an interview with French radio network RTL, Manaudou said:

“I’m going to work with Julien as in 2014.

“I thought a lot during the six weeks in the ISL bubble. The pandemic plus political tensions between (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan (President of Turkey) and France were bound to be on my list.

“Having my family, my friends, the best training group in France and coaches with whom I worked and I get along really well, weighed in the balance.

“I’ll be happier, I won’t have to wonder how to get home, what flight to take, risk being stranded.

“I was lucky to have a second training base, it becomes the first.”


Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

It may be the end of Manaudou and Gibson’s swimmer-coach relationship for now, the Briton the man who guided him to the Olympic pinnacle.

The four-time world champion though insisted it was just a temporary parting of the ways, saying:

It is a separation but he told me that it was the best place for me at the moment given what is happening.

“I was a little afraid to tell him and I’m glad he supported me.

“He remains a special coach and I will train with him from time to time in the future.

“There is still a long time to go before Paris 2024.”

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