Florent Manaudou Splits 1:46.0 in SCM 200 Freestyle in France

French swimmer Florent Manaudou, perhaps eyeballing a season-ending shootout matchup against the likes of Caeleb Dressel and Kyle Chalmers, swam a 200 freestyle on a relay leg last weekend.

Racing on Saturday in Istres, France at an Interclubs meet representing his club team CN Marseille, the French sprinter had 3 swims on the day: the 100 IM, which he swam in 53.33, a 50 free on a 10×50 relay, where he split 20.71, and a 200 free on a 4×200 free relay, where he split 1:46.07.

Manaudou, who turned 29 on Tuesday, is known primarily for his sprinting abilities. He’s the current World Record holder in the 50 free and 50 back in short course meters, and also holds French Records in the 50 fly, 50 breast, and 100 IM. In short: if it’s in water and requires a lot of fast-twitch muscles, Manaudou is very good at it.

Where he doesn’t have the same strong history, however, is in races longer than 50 meters. He has been 47.98 in the 100 free, but also has some infamous collapses on his resume from early in his career: including at the 2011 World Championships where a 54.02 in the 100 fly on the medley relay, that he split 23.68/30.34, left a French team with a shot at gold out of the final altogether.

Manaudou has built an impressive career out of sprinting, and now, after his return to full-time swimming after a foray into professional handball (which he credits the ISL for motivating), endurance becomes even more important. Showing up at the Olympics and racing just the 50 free and 400 free relay across 8 days is less of a viable option in the ISL’s compact and high-intensity team-based format.

And Manaudou has shown that the Manaudou of old might have turned a new leaf in terms of finishing races. He split 1:46.07 on a relay, which was the fastest split of the field by more than a second – and that’s a field that included swimmers like Jeremy Stravius and Jeremy Desplanches.

  • Splits: 24.05 – 26.61 – 27.14 – 28.27 = 1:46.07

While he still was fading at the end (Stravius, for example, was 27.5 on his last 50), by Manaudou’s standards that’s an impressive result. His best time in a flat-start swim is long course is 1:51.34 from 2013 and in short course is a 1:54.85 from 2009.

This becomes even more crucial with the level of emphasis that the ISL places upon the ‘skins’ events at the end of the meet. This race, which features 3 rounds of 50 freestyles separated by only 3 minutes, ends every meet, and is worth significantly more than any of the meet’s other races. That includes in both dollars (triple a normal event), team points (27 points for the winner, versus 9 for a normal event), and MVP scoring (worth 50% more than a normal event).

In his first ISL meet in Indianapolis, Manaudou beat his teammate Ben Proud in the final 50, but swam only 22.97 in that final round (albeit without much pressure from a team perspective).

A week later in Naples, he made the final and raced against American Caeleb Dressel, and this time finished in 2nd place. Dressel swam 21.33 in the final, and Manaudou was only 23.13.

While his Energy Standard Club is essentially locked-in to a place in the final in December in Las Vegas, their win their is not guaranteed – especially after a very good performance by London Roar in Group B. Energy Standard probably need to find a way to get at least 1 swimmer into the men’s final of the Skin event and lock out the Roar (it’s hard to see Dressel not making the final). With such a short turnaround between 50s, if Manaudou is adapting his training for that dense race lineup, this 200 free could be some sign that it’s taking hold.

Manaudou and the Energy Standard Club are scheduled to race again on November 23rd and 24th in London at the European Derby meet.

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If Manaudou can build more endurance maybe he can even challenge Dressel in the 100 free in Tokyo. Dressel, Chalmers and Manaudou would be an amazing race


questionable, and even if he can, Chalmers is looking like he can do something unreal


Unreal, like maybe even beat Dressel for once??


He beat Dressel at Pan Pacs in 2018

that guy

He beat a hurt dressel


You mean that time he beat Dressel in Rio?


Or for the third time you mean Leisurely 1:29 ? Short memory


What’s the third other than Pan Pacs and Rio?


Next year would be the third I meant , if Chalmers can do it .


yep , we have seen that coming ….

Ol' Longhorn

No way. Big fan of Flo, but straight arm freestyle, which is so effective for 21 seconds, is death over 100 LCM. He had some relay 47’s in his earlier prime, but no way he can go sub-47.


Yes because Abbey weitzeil and Ryan held have terrible 100 freestyles

Ol' Longhorn

The discussion was about medalists at Tokyo. And that ain’t going to be Weitzeil or Held. And yes, Abbey’s free comparatively deteriorates compared to her elite peers after 21 seconds. Just ask Simone and the other 5 of 6 women (or more) in the world who can beat her in an LCM 100.. As for Held, that’s not straight arm freestyle anymore than Dressel’s is for his best time this summer. Check it out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glihy8rh84I


Held definitely has medal potential with that 47.4

Ol' Longhorn

In the relay.


They both have/had the same coach in Coley Stickels. I would say it worked ok for them.

Ol' Longhorn

And Weitzell doesn’t do straight-arm free for the 100 LCM either. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhC1U6pZfDw. Sure, you can splash around in a 100 SCY when your underwaters take you to 12-15, but it’s unsustainable in 100 LCM.


Is he training with Energy Standard or in France


Isn’t the world record like 1:39 for SCM though?

Coach John


Former swimmer

He’s a beast! Love it

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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