At a National meet in Nice this past weekend, a few French superstars from the homeclub Olympic Nice showed that they’re more-than-ready to put up jaw-dropping times at the upcoming French Olympic Trials.
This is not the first meet where France has swum very fast this season. They seem to be taking an “every-meet” approach until Trials, where with spots secured, they will hopefully grind out some huge yardages, come down off of these times, and be ready to go even lower in London.
Middle-to-distance swimmer Camille Muffat sat out her primary events, but did swim the 100 free – which is an event that seems unlikely for her at the Olympics, but are a huge indicator for her 200 and 400’s. She took the win in 54.44. She would tack on a victory in the 200 free in 1:55.99. That’s within a tenth of her lifetime best, and is the number-two time in the world this year.
Muffat would also tack on a lifetime best in the 100 fly in 58.37. This is an event she’s been toying with, and seems to have now hit her stride in the stroke.
Muffat might secretly be one of the most versatile swimmers on the women’s side of the sport, which makes sense as she began her career as largely an IM’er. I think that we could see her pull a Katie Hoff, and after London gravitate back towards those IM’s.
For the men, Yannick Agnel took a 100 and 200 freestyle double, with times of 48.80 and 1:45.52. That 100 time is the 2nd best in his career, and the 200 is the best in the world this season.
Former USC Trojan Clement Lefert also had a sparkling swim in the 200 ith a 1:47.39 lifetime best. In his other events, he took 3rd in the 100 free (49.60 – behind Agnel and a 49.26 from Alain Bernard); and a win in the 100 fly of 52.95 that pushes him ever-closer to a spot on the French medley. As well as he performed at USC with Dave Salo, his time spent at Olympic Nice Natation working with the likes of Agnel has really pushed him to the next level.
Other notable times include an 8:04.58 from Sebastien Rouault in the men’s 800. The runner-up in the race was 17-year old Luca Fasulo, who set a new National Age Record in the event in 8:09.50. The previous mark was held by Lucas Vigorito of Marseille from last year.
Denmark swimmer Mads Glaesner also made a cameo performance in this meet to post a 3:51.09 in the 400 free (well ahead of Rouault in 2nd in 3:56). That time helps him keep pace with the best in the world in this event as he tries to take his short course successes and turn them into some semblance of long course success at the Olympics. This 400 seems to be his best shot at that.