2012 Olympic champion Florent Manaudou will make his official return to competition at the upcoming Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, which will take place June 21-23 at the famous Foro Italico pool (host of the 2009 World Championships).
The announcement of Manaudou’s return came directly from the Italian Swimming Federation on Facebook with a video:
The now 28-year-old took a step back from his high-intensity training regimen following the 2016 Olympic Games, where he won silver in both the 50 free and 4×100 free relay. He remained active and did get on the blocks at the odd meet, and also competed in handball, but his future in the sport remained up in the air for a few years.
It was in March of this year when it was announced that he would return to competitive swimming full time, signing with the Energy Standard team of the International Swim League, and that he would push himself to see what he could do at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Prior to stepping aside from full-time competition in 2016, Manaudou was widely regarded as one of the best sprinters in the world. He surprised everyone when he stunned defending champion Cesar Cielo to win gold in the 50 free at the 2012 Games in London, and over the next four years, he was dominant.
The Frenchman won four gold medals at the 2014 European Championships, three at the 2014 Short Course World Championships (including world records in the 50 free and 50 back which still stand), and then won three golds at the 2015 LC World Championships (two individually in the 50 free and 50 fly).
In Rio, it was American Anthony Ervin who surprised Manaudou to win the gold, leaving the defending champ in the second position.
The Sette Colli Trophy (LCM) will be a good test for Manaudou in his first meet back, as a very competitive field usually assembles. At last year’s competition, Ben Proud set a new Commonwealth Record in the 50 free (21.16) and Andrii Govorov set a new world record in the 50 fly (22.27) – Manaudou’s two primary events.
Manauodu’s Personal Best Times (LCM)
- 50 freestyle – 21.19 (t-#5 all-time)
- 100 freestyle – 47.98
- 50 backstroke – 24.77
- 50 breaststroke – 27.66
- 50 butterfly – 22.84
The fact that the ISL will be raced short course metres only strengthens Manaudou’s potential for Energy Standard, as he has a wide range of abilities across all strokes in that format.
Manaudou’s Personal Best Times (SCM)
- 50 freestyle – 20.26 (WR)
- 100 freestyle – 45.04 (#3 all-time)
- 50 backstroke – 22.22 (WR)
- 100 backstroke – 50.35
- 50 breaststroke – 26.11
- 50 butterfly – 22.09 (#6 all-time)
- 100 butterfly – 50.95
- 100 IM – 50.96 (#7 all-time)