Florent Manaudou Commits to the 50-100 Double

CN Marseille sprinter Florent Manaudou has confirmed he will compete in both the 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter freestyle at France’s Olympic Team Trials in Montpellier next spring (March 29-April 3, 2016). Manaudou made the declaration in an interview with the French sports daily L’Equipe earlier this week.

Manaudou, the reigning Olympic champion in the 50 meter freestyle, has had an on-again off-again relationship with the 100 distance. He talked about his ambition to win Olympic gold in both the 50 and 100 freestyles last September. A couple months later, during the French short course national championships in Angers, Manaudou scratched the 100 after a poor performance in the 50. He told the press at the time that he didn’t want his work in the 100 to negatively affect his speed in the 50, and left the future of his attempting the 50-100 double in doubt.

After his recent performances at the Christmas meet in Nîmes last weekend, however, Manaudou has renewed his intention to become the first swimmer since Russia’s Alexander Popov to achieve the feat of winning both the 50 and 100 freestyles at the same Olympic Games (Popov did it in both 1992 and 1996). Manaudou blasted a world-leading 47.98 in the 100 LCM freestyle and a 21.80 in the 50 at Nîmes, which was just what he needed to get off the fence. He told the media afterwards, “With the time I went (in the 100), I want to give it a shot.”

Manaudou will be favored to win both distances in Montpellier, despite a crowded field in the 100 free. To make the French team for Rio, however, he will have to be one of the top two finishers under the qualifying standard of 21.82 in the 50 and 48.13 in the 100. In the latter distance he will be challenged by Marseille teammates Mehdy Metella, Grégory Mallet, Fabien Gilot, and William Meynard. Other contenders will include Yannick Agnel of Mulhouse and Jérémy Stravius and Eddie Moueddene of Amiens.

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5 years ago

The words “Manaudou” and “commit” almost never appear in the same sentence.

Seriously though, I think he can pull this off, he was pretty clearly not in his best shape during the meet (21.8 for Manaudou is meh) but a 47.98 is very good. I personally think that Manaudou has potential for the world record in the 50, but would be awesome to finnaly see someone complete the 50-100 double again, as it hasn’t been done in LC world champ or Oly since 2009. We know he can be .65 seconds faster in the 50, so if we take of .65 from his 100, that gives us a 47.33, which would win every major international meet except in 2008… Read more »

Reply to  Ok
5 years ago

Good to see the Americans already have their Olympic team members selected in both the 50 and the 100 freestyles, Adrian and Dressel.

Certainly could happen that way, but I’m suspecting a broader range of American possibilities over the course of another year.

Likewise for the Aussies, with McEvoy and Magnussen.

And even though his results the last year or two have been uneven, I wouldn’t yet give up on Cielo, the world record holder in the 100.

Reply to  Ok
5 years ago

And who is Ditto?

bobo gigi
5 years ago

It’s one thing to swim 47.98 in clear water miles ahead of the rest of the competition in a meet with no pressure..
It’s another thing to do it or go faster in an olympic final after 2 hard rounds with much pressure without losing his technique while fighting in the last 25 in a very close race.
He has the physical potential to swim at least 47.50. No question about that. But does he have the technical and mental tools for that event?
He won the 100 free at 2014 European championships but olympic games will be another world.
He has first to qualify. Has to finish in the top 2 at next French nationals… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

I think he will be able to go 47.70 at the olympics or better. Even if he is just a relay swimmer the french team will be hard to beat.

5 years ago

He’s definitely a favorite in the 50 and has as good of chance as anyone…..but in the 100, he’s potentially capable but yet still a distant long shot from where I sit.

5 years ago

Manaudou can win it at Rio – I think everyone knows that he has the speed and the talent, and I bet a lot of his competitors will probably be worried because he truly is a wildcard.

Will he go through the work needed for the 100m though? Time will tell. He’ll need to swim more than 3K a day now 😀

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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