Hardcore Swim of the Week: A Pair of 4:02’s for the World Champion Muffat

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The HardCoreSwim of the week goes to France’s Camille Muffat, who despite jet-setting around Europe put up the world’s two-fastest times in the 400 free this past week.

First came a 4:02.84 on the Monaco stop of the Mare Nostrum series, which was followed by a 4:02.64 on Thursday in Rome at the Sette Colli Trophy.

Muffat has been knocked in the past few years for doing her best times in-season, but the defending Olympic Champion in this race has shown that she’s ready for Barcelona by putting up two stellar times in a 5-day span. She’s now gone under 4:03 five different times in her career, all of which have been in textile. Nobody has gone faster more times in textile than she has, and only Italian Federica Pellegrini (7 times) and Rebecca Adlington (6 times) have been under that mark more times in any suit.

It’s scary to think that Janet Evans’ World Record of 4:03.85 lasted from 1988 through 2006, and has come so far since.

With Adlington retired and Pellegrini swimming backstroke this year, the names are few and far between who can challenge Muffat for the World Championships, especially with how consistent she showed she could be last year. It would seem that the two Americans who qualify out (especially Schmitt and Ledecky), or Denmark’s Lotte Friis could be the challengers.

Perhaps the loss of a training partner Yannick Agnel could be detrimental to Muffat’s performance? Even a few tenths could cost her gold.

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8 years ago

If Ledecky swims her best, Muffat will have to settle for a minor medal.

Reply to  aswimfan
8 years ago

> If Ledecky swims her best, Muffat will have to settle for a minor medal.

You put it quite confidently. 🙂 That means even though Muffat swam at best too, it would be not enough against Ledecky.

Reply to  SwimFanFinland
8 years ago

I agree with ASWIMFAN. I think Ledecky has swum fast times this year and I think she could be in Muffat-range at World Trials. I hope whoever qualifies in 400 for USA will be able to challenge Muffat and challenge for the gold medal.

Reply to  Oldcoaches
8 years ago

This could be one of the really great races in Barcelona, I can’t wait!

Lotte’s better chances will be in the 800 and 1500, and even there she’ll have her hands full with Ledecky. She’s just a beast.

Lane Four
Reply to  DanishSwimFan
8 years ago

I could not agree more with ASWIMFAN, ASWIMFANINFINLAND, OLDCOACHES, and DANISHSWIMFAN! I wonder if Katie realizes how many people understand what an incredible athlete she is and what a HUGE future she has. Of course, with this comes the burden of living up to others and their expectations. It is my hope that Katie just puts all of that aside and simply does her best. Personally, I believe her best is better than anyone else which will bring so much excitement into the women’s races waiting to see what Katie can do! The way she attacks her events unless you are willing to go from the gun, you don’t have a chance. Again, very much like Janet Evans. NO FEAR!… Read more »

8 years ago

Correction to above article: Janet Evans held the 400 free world record from 1988 -2006! And yes her 4:03.85 swim 25 years ago is still among the fastest times ever.

jean Michel
8 years ago

Muffat did 2 great times this year allready … But Ledecky with her fierce racing spirit is capable of putting a lot of trouble in that race this summer . Gonna be great to watch the battle . Can’t wait …

8 years ago

Janet Evans’ swim in Seoul was outstanding. Here is a video with decent quality of those races in Seoul:


It wasn’t a bad level race either:

1. Janet Evans 4:03.85 WR, (USA)
2. Heike Friedrich 4:05.94, East Germany (GDR)
3. Anke Möhring 4:06.62, East Germany (GDR)

Philip Johnson
8 years ago

I’m not quite as confident Ledecky will beat Muffat this year, but it’s clear she is the future. I am too impressed with Ledecky’s demeanor and fearlessness. In London, she reminded me of Phelps and his 200 free in Beijing with her go-out-in-front and catch-me-if-you can mentality. Mind you, she was going up against WR holders and Olympic gold medalist, while she was just an unknown 15-year-old. This year, she thoroughly impressed me when she beat Franklin in the 200, again swimming unafraid, and she knows the exact time her competition (Muffat) is swimming.

Some athletes just have that natural competitive spirit and Ledecky is one.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 years ago

I apologize to Muffat because this is about her and I’m just talking about Ledecky. Muffat is still a three-time Olympic medalist and currently holds two world record. She is a phenomenal swimmer and is still the favorite in the 400 come this summer unless Ledecky proves otherwise at Trials.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 years ago

Don’t apologize for that! Not necessary.

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Hope to see the WR going down.

Even being on Muffat or Ledecky hand it will be deserved.. and maybe they need to be against each other to do what is needed to break the 4 min textile barrier and go for the WR..

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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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