2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Swimming: August 6-13
- Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
- Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
- SwimSwam previews
- Schedule & Results
- Live Stream (NBC)
There was a good deal of disappointment on deck after France, the 2012 silver medalists in the 4×200 free relay, failed to final in the same event on Tuesday in Rio. The quartet, made up of Jordan Pothain, Grégory Mallet, Lorys Bourelly, and Damien Joly, finished seventh in their heat and 14th overall with 7:13.71. France came into the meet seeded eighth with 7:09.18 following their fifth-place finish at 2016 European Championships in London in May.
Noticeably absent from the French relay was 2012 gold medalist in the 200 free, France’s Yannick Agnel. After failing to make the semi-finals in the 200 on Sunday with his 19th place finish in 1:47.35, Agnel came down with a sinus infection and pulled out of the relay. RMC had reported that Agnel spent Monday in bed with a fever and wouldn’t be available for the heats of 800 free relays. He was replaced by Joly, who is in Rio as an individual entrant in the men’s 1500 free.
|London 5/2016, 4×200 Splits||Rio 8/2016, 4×200 Splits||Previous Flat-Start Best|
|Lorys Bourelly||1:49.38||Jordan Pothain||1:46.56||1:46.81 (2016)|
|Yannick Agnel||1:46.25||Grégory Mallet||1:47.60||1:46.69 (2013)|
|Jordan Pothain||1:47.15||Lorys Bourelly||1:48.62||1:47.83 (2016)|
|Jérémy Stravius||1:46.40||Damien Joly||1:50.93||1:51.21 (2013)|
French news media have reported comments that a frustrated Pothain made in the mixed zone at the conclusion of the relay. According to ledauphine.com, Pothain lashed out at Agnel, saying, “We were abandoned by Yannick. He let us down.” He then added, “I think they lied to us. Damien [Joly] only found out less than 12 hours ago that he would swim [on the relay].”
The discord in the French camp comes after a slow start to the 2016 Olympic Games, and may very well reflect the collective frustration felt by the men’s team. France has been a force to be reckoned with over the last several Olympic cycles. But so far they haven’t obtained the results they expected in Rio. Agnel missed qualifying for semi-finals in his key event, the 200 free. Jérémy Stravius scratched his 200 free semi-final to concentrate on the collective success of the 4×100 free relay, scheduled later on the same night. Camille Lacourt, a world champion in the 100 back, finished a disappointing fifth in the same event.