2015 Amsterdam Cup Preview: Manaudou Possibly Taking On 200 Free

2015 Amsterdam Cup

  • Friday, December 11- Sunday, 13th
  • Sloterparkbad of Amsterdam (LCM)
  • Prelims at 8:45am local/2:45am Eastern; Finals at 3:30pm local/9:30am Eastern
  • Entry Lists
  • Event Schedule
  • Results (when available)

The 2015 Amsterdam Cup is set to transpire at the Sloterparkbad this Friday through Sunday with the field stacked on both the men’s and women’s sides. Competition will take place in the 50 LCM format with prelims and finals taking place in the morning and afternoon, respectively, each day.

Earlier this season both the Spanish Swimming Federation and British Swimming released their list of participants headed to Amsterdam for the meet, so we already had at least a taste for the elite level of competition that would be present over the course of the three-day affair.

For Spain, back-from-bursitis multi-event superstar Mireia Belmonte is set to swim her typical monster schedule, which includes the 200 IM/400 IM, 200 butterfly, 200/400/800/1500 freestyle and 200 backstroke. Belmonte comes into the meet as the #1 seed across 6 of those 8 events, save for the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke.

After having to sit out the majority of the summer season, including the FINA World Championships, to tend to her shoulder injury, Belmonte made her return to the pool in late November at her nation’s short course championships. She wound up racing in and racking up titles in the 400m/800m/1500m freestyles, the 200m/400m IM, as well as the 200m butterfly, indicating that she is most definitely on the right track in this stretch leading up to Rio. Amsterdam, then, will serve as her first true LCM test since her hiatus.

From Britain’s roster released in late October, we learned that a strong Loughborough University contingent would be represented in Amsterdam.  Recent European Short Course silver medalist in the 400 IM, Roberto Pavoni, is the top seed in the 200 IM, 2nd seed in the 400 IM, and is also slated to swim the 200 backstroke and 200 butterfly events.  He’ll be joined by GBR teammates Jack Burnell, Alice Dearing, Daniel Fogg, Charlotte Evans, Caleb Hughes,  and Molly Renshaw.

One British name that didn’t appear within that original list of attendees for the Amsterdam Cup, yet is present on the entry lists on the meet site currently, is double World Champion and two-time European Short Course silver medalist, Adam Peaty.  Peaty is listed as swimming the trio of breaststroke events and sits as the top seed in each.

Peaty’s primary competition will come in the form of Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis, the man who just swam away with a bronze medal in the 100m distance at last week’s European Short Course Championships. Calum Tait from Edinburgh will be contesting those same 3 breaststroke events, while South Africa’s Ayrton Sweeney will also be in the mix in the 100m and 200m races.

Sweeney is part of a multi-member South African squad who is making it up to Amsterdam for the meet. Young Calvyn Justus, who just made his very first World Cup final in Doha, will be taking on the field in the 50/100/200 freestyles, as well as the 100 backstroke event. Myles Brown will also be competing in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles, and is positioned as the 3rd seed in that latter event.

The French men are slated to show up in full force with prime time players including Frederick Bousquet, Benjamin Stasiulis, Camille Lacourt, Florent Manaudou, Fabien Gilot and Mehdy Metella on the entry lists.

Manaudou, for course, will look to lay waste to the field in his signature splash n’ dash 50m freestyle race, but is also scheduled to swim both the 100m and 200m events as well. The 25-year-old has a history of scratching the finals if not even the prelims of the 100m event, so his name being listed is anything but a sure swim.

The same holds true for the even rarer Manaudou appearance in the 200 freestyle. He comes in as the 41st seed with a time of 1:51.80, not attributed to a specific meet’s swim.  In fact, the last time it appears Manaudou has swum the 200m freestyle long course was back in 2013, where he posted a time of 1:51.34.

Bousquet is in the same boat, where he’s slated to swim his signature sprint events, such as the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly, yet is also seeded 83rd in the 200m freestyle with an unattributed time of 1:56.20.  For his part, rising star Metella is supposed to join his teammates in the 200m freestyle in addition to his 100m free and 100m fly events, although the 23-year-old has swum the former event as recent as May of this year. He swam a 200m freestyle mark of 1:49.99 in Nancy on the Golden Tour.

Germans Steffen Diebler, Dorothea Brandt and Alexandra Wenk are scheduled to appear, with Wenk fresh off her bronze medal and new German National Record in the 100 butterfly at the European Short Course Championships in Israel.

Also of note on the starting lists are two swimmers with American ties, Shane Ryan and Kate Mills.  Ryan is red-shirting his senior year at Penn State University in the hopes of representing Ireland at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. As such, he’s listed under the club “NAC”, which is the outfit based at the High Performance National Aquatic Center in Dublin.

For Mills, she typically represents SwimMAC Carolina when in the United States, but has represented the Spanish club Real Canoe in previous competitions, most recently at the Spanish Short Course Nationals this fall.

Of course the host nation of the Netherlands will have most of its top swimming stars on hand to fight for Cup titles and cash, although the 2012 double Olympic gold medalist, Ranomi Kromowidjojo is notably absent from the entry list. The field is still ripe with Dutch talent, however, including breaststroker, Moniek Nijhuis, sprinters Inge Dekker and Marrit Steenbergen, as well as utility swimmer Femke Heemskerk.

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Joel Lin
8 years ago

You guys are too funny. It isn’t pretty watching a pure sprinter swim a 200 long course, but it is very funny if you are a fan of Shakespeare drama. The beginning, the hope, the promise, the brief moments of wonder and then tragedy. It’s also about 90 minutes shorter than a play, so why are you guys complaining?

The only thing I am wondering is will Florent and Freddie need a lane counter for the 200? For them when you are out there after more than one turn…that has to feel really weird.

8 years ago

And if he does swim it, I fancy Calvyn Justus (Justus Bra!) to beat him.

8 years ago

I want him to swim it, sub 1:51, just to keep the “tongue in cheek” armchair critics at bay! ?

8 years ago

I wonder if he is a man enough to swim the whole 200m.

8 years ago

Florent the eel manadou will be seen!!

bobo gigi
8 years ago

Plan the presence of lifeguards around the pool if Manaudou swims the 200 free.
Big risks of drowning.

8 years ago

Last 50? He’d die about 75m in?

8 years ago

It’s a reboot of “Die Hard With a Vengeance.”

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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