In Prelims at the 2011 Speedo Southern Zone East Sectional Speedo Chamionship Series Meet on the University of Georgia campus (AKA Athens Sectional), Laure Manaudou put up some more great swims.
In her first prelims race, the 200 free, she took the 2nd-seed with a 2:01.99 (behind Megan Romano’s 2:00.85). As a comparison, her best swim ever was in 2007 in textile in 1:55.52, though her typical season-best was closer to a 1:57. While that time wasn’t as impressive as her career-bests in the 50 from day 1, remember that working with Brett Hawke at Auburn, her speed is going to come back before her endurance. That time makes her the 7th-best French performer this year.
Not long after that swim, she faced Megan Romano again, this time in the 100 back. This time, Manaudou took the top seed with a solid 1:01.9. Her best time in that race, in textile, was a 59.87. We don’t know exactly what Manaudou’s focus is for this meet, but that still seems like a solid swim this early in her comeback. That also makes her the 3rd-fastest Frenchwoman this year. It appears as though this 100 backstroke might be her easiest route to London in 2012, due in part to weakness from the French contingent.
Romano was just behind in the 100 back in 1:02.04. That’s another career-best swim for her, after doing so in the 50 yesterday.
With these two both training at rival SEC schools, there could be a bit of a mini-rivalry developing, as the two are likely to square of at several meets in the next few years.
Finals will begin at 6 PM U.S. Eastern Time (GMT – 4:00).