Florent Manaudou Races at Worlds, Discusses Possible 2024 Comeback

French swimmer Florent Manaudou won the 2015 World Championships in the 50 free, 50 fly, and 400 free relays, and after a pair of silver medals at the 2016 Olympics opted not to defend those medals at the 2017 World Championships. Instead, he took a break from his swim training to explore his abilities in handball.

But that doesn’t mean that Manaudou didn’t race at the World Championships. The 26-year old competed in the media race on Thursday. This tradition at big meets pits members of the media against each other. At Worlds, the teams are pitted against each other in a 200 free relay, split out by the media organization they’re working with.

This year, Manaudou is commentating on the World Championships alongside his sister Laure for Francetv. He, along with two-time Olympic finalist and Francetv photojournalist Xavier Marchand both competed in this year’s media race. NBC wont, with Rowdy Gaines as their best split in 26.92 and Mike Unger, USA Swimming Chief Operating Officer, competing for the NBC team.

Francetv wound up 3rd, in spite of Manaudou’s 23.33 anchor being easily the fastest in the field.

The BBC also put together an impressive relay with former World Champion Karen Pickering, former Olympic Champion and World Record holder Rebecca Adlington, former European Champion Steve Parry, and former Lancaster University Swim Team captain Nick Hope.

Results, as Tweeted out by Unger:

No times for the race were released, but Manaudou made headlines of his own on Thursday. He said in an interview Thursday that he might still return for the 2024 Olympics. World Record holder and fellow Olympic sprint champion Cesar Cielo says that he believes Manaudou will be back for 2020, but Manaudou says that he doesn’t know about that.

“There is nothing really motivating me except to see the Japanese organizing the games, which will be better than the Brazilians. If it’s Paris 2024, it sure makes me more tempted. I’ll have to see where I am in seven years.”

Manaudou would be 33 by the Paris 2024 Olympics, but cites Anthony Ervin as his model. Ervin took an extended break after winning Olympic gold in 2000 and eventually won gold again in 2016.

Read more of Manaudou’s interview from L’Equipe, including his thoughts on Camille Lacourt, here.

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6 years ago

By the sounds of it, it seems as if Manaudou’s sabbatical will be quite the extended break. I just find it really unfortunate if thats the case, I really hope he doesn’t completely lose his passion for the sport (which already seems to be dwindling).

6 years ago

““There is nothing really motivating me except to see the Japanese organizing the games…”

Weird that there’s nothing motivating him except that.

6 years ago
Dottore Battistello
6 years ago

Well known names at this race:
Rowdy Gaines… Karen Pickering… Rebecca Adlington… Stephen Parry… Takeshi Matsuda… Kosuke Kitajima… Xavier Marchand… Florent Manaudou (23.33)… Luca Sacchi…
But we won’t release the times, it’s not the purpose of the gathering 😉

Tom from Chicago
6 years ago

I would like to see Phelps get the itch for the 2020 200IM. Just 1 event Michael, not much.

Reply to  Tom from Chicago
6 years ago

Yes! I wanted for him to break the WR so bad in RIO!

Jon Nap
Reply to  Tom from Chicago
6 years ago

I think if it were in the US, there would be much more of a chance

Reply to  Tom from Chicago
6 years ago

After his retirement, I’ve often wondered how (much more) insane Phelps’ times could have been if he had a narrower event focus. Like if he went all in on just 200IM for a while, or just 100/200fly for while. It’s fun to think about.

Big Calves
Reply to  MTK
6 years ago

He should go train at NC State only for 100 fly and relays. Maybe not though with Dressel on the scene.

Ex Quaker
6 years ago

I thought I saw a post from Rowdy Gaines on Facebook with the results. To my recollection, he split 23.3.

Dottore Battistello
Reply to  Ex Quaker
6 years ago

Yes good pick.

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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