In Briefs: France's Yannick Agnel To Drop 400 Free in Shanghai As a Result of Lung Infection

Several French-language newspapers are reporting that young French superstar Yannick Agnel has been struck by a lung infection that has left him bedridden,out of training, and has completely altered his World Championship schedule.

Agnel was expected to be one of France’s leading stars at the Shanghai World Championships in July, but this illness has caused him to severely limit his schedule of events. He is now planning to drop the 400 free, where he is the defending European champ and sits 2nd in the world behind Sun Yang, as a result of the lost conditioning. This is a rough blow, but fortunately at only 18, he will have many more chances to win this event at large-scale meets.

He’s expected to keep the individual 200, and the 800 free relay, on his schedule, though speculation is that he might drop off of the French 400 free relay as well. This would be a small, but by no means crippling, blow for France’s cause to upend the Americans. The French free relay is the deepest in the world, and either Jeremy Stravius or Fred Bousquet, both of whom have 48-low potential at least, will be promoted from a prelims-only swim to a finals spot. Stravius is the best bet, given Bousquet’s struggles in the 100 the past few years (though his 50 has remained among the best on the planet).


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Grant Hackett won the gold medal in the 1500m in Athens with a collapsed lung. French people are weak. And thats why the Americans will win the relay…again.


He’s only 18, no need to put his health in risk. He’ll have enough meets in the future


He’s a young man on a mission. Even though he’s 18, he probably has more to prove than most swimmers that’re older than him. If Agnel were to retire tomorrow, despite the stir he has caused in the short and mid distance freestyles in the last two years, he won’t be a name that people will talk about in 4 or even 2 olympic cycles. After all, all he’s accomplished is 400m euro champion in a time that is not exactly head turning. Due to French selection processes, disqualifications at SC worlds,a nd now this virus– at least from the perspective of a long-term observer, Agnel’s last two years have to been their full potential. Us fans see what Agnel… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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