Camille Muffat and Lauren Boyle provided the fans at the French Open in Vichy with an incredible race where the two battled for the 400 freestyle title. Muffat of France holds the world’s fastest time of 4:02.84, which she posted in Monte Carlo at the beginning of June while Boyle had the sixth fastest time in the world of 4:05.67 going into the race, which she recorded in March at the New Zealand National Championships.
After the first 100 meters the two women were never separated by more than 47 one-hundredths of a second:
Muffat – 58.52/2:00.41 (1:01.89)/3:02.77 (1:02.36)/4:04.09 (1:01.32)
Boyle – 59.42/2:00.88 (1:01.46)/3:03.19 (1:02.31)/4:04.24 (1:01.05)
This ends a very impressive weekend by Boyle who won the women’s 800 freestyle in a time of 8:23.08 and only minutes after the conclusion of that event finished third in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:58.77.
Carolie Balmy of France finished third in a time of 4:08.78.
The men’s 50 freestyle was probably the most anticipated event of the weekend, with three of the four top ranked swimmers in the world vying for the victory. The current world rankings:
Nathan Adrian (USA) – 21.47
James Magnussen (AUS) – 21.52
Florent Manaudou (FRA) – 21.55
Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 21.57
Manaudou took the event in Vichy, winning in a time of 21.64 followed by Cielo who posted a 21.78 and Magnussen who finished third recording a time of 21.86.
The top three finishers in the men’s 50 backstroke posted world top ten times and all should be in contention for the world title in Bracelona. Jeremy Stravius of France won the event in a time of 24.67. He was followed by South African Gerhard Zandberg who finished second recording a time of 24.71 and fellow Frenchman Camille Lacourt who finished third in a time of 24.75.
Stravius’ season’s best of 24.61 currently ranks him second in the world with American David Plummer having the top time of 24.52. Zandberg’s time of 24.71 is a season’s best and puts him fourth in the world, while Lacourt was just off his season’s best of 24.73, which ties him with Bastiaan Lijesen of the Netherlands for fifth.
Brazilian Thiago Pereira took the men’s 200 IM in a time of 1:58.92. He was followed by Hungarian Laszlo Cseh who finished second posting a time of 1:59.23 and Daniel Tranter who finished third in a time of 1:59.61.
Pereira, who won Olympic silver in the 400 IM, is currently ranked fourth in the world in the 200 IM with a season’s best of 1:57.48, well behind Ryan Lochte and Kosuke Hagino who hold the world’s fastest two times of 1:55.44 and 1:55.74 respectively.
Inge Dekker of the Netherlands swept both sprint butterfly events at the French Open after winning the 50 butterfly on the final day of competition. Dekker won the event in a time of 25.95, just off her season’s best of 25.93 which ranks fifth in the world, after taking the 100 butterfly on the first day of competition in a time of 58.89.
Britta Steffen of Germany was second posting a time of 26.54 followed by Amit Ivry of Israel who recorded a time of 26.73.
Frenchman Damien Joly took the men’s 1500 freestyle in a time of 15:28.82. He was followed by French teammate Enzo Vial Collet, who in an exciting finish took second in a time of 15:30.64 with Nathan Capp of New Zealand finishing third in a time of 15:30.90.
Despite winning the 400 freestyle on the first day, Olympic silver medalist Ryan Cochrane decided to bypass the event. Cochrane is currently ranked eighth in the world with a time of 14:59.73, which he posted at the Canadian trials and is also the only time he has swum his primary event this year.
German Teresa Michalak won the women’s 50 breaststroke in a time of 31.78. Michalak’s German teammate Julia Willers finished second in a time of 31.88, followed by Israeli Amit Ivry who took third for the second time of the evening in a time of 31.95.
Marco Koch of Germany took his second breaststroke event of the competition winning the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:01.23. Koch won the 200 breaststroke on Saturday in a time of 2:09.40.
He was followed by Giacomo Perez Dortona of France who posted a time of 1:01.48 and Claudio Fossi of Italy who recorded a 1:02.16.
Fatine Lesaffre of France won the women’s 400 IM in a time of 4:46.70 followed by her French teammate Isabelle Mabboux who finished in a time of 4:51.79. Kathrin Demler of Germany finished third posting a time of 4:53.07.
Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin took the men’s 100 butterfly in a time of 52.52, which is his second fastest time of the year. Korotyshkin is currently ranked second in the world having posted a time of 51.53 in April this year.
Francois Heersbrandt of Belgium finished second in a time of 53.88 followed by Spaniard Jose Manuel Valdivia Canizares who recorded a time of 53.93.
Lisa Graf of Germany won the women’s 100 backstroke in a time of 1:01.64. She was followed by Cloe Credeville of France who posted a time of 1:01.77 and Duane Da Rocha Marce of Spain who finished third in a time of 1:01.89.
Franziska Hentke of Germany took the women’s 200 butterfly final, which only had four swimmers participate, in a time of 2:09.02. She was followed by Samantha Lee of New Zealand who finished in a time of 2:14.08 and Tanja Kirmse of Germany who finished in a tiem of 2:22.25.
Germany went one, two, three in the women’s 200 breaststroke. Vanessa Grimberg took the top spot in a time of 2:27.85. She was followed by Caroline Ruhnam who finished second recording a time of 2:32.01 and Alexandra Wenk who finished third in a time of 2:32.66.
Christian Diener won the men’s 200 backstroke in a time of 2:00.24 just three one-hundredths of a second ahead of Gareth Kean of New Zealand who finished second in a time of 2:00.27. Italian Sebastiano Ranfagni finished third posting a time of 2:00.54.
In the final individual event of the competition Britta Steffen took the women’s 100 freestyle in a time of 54.07. She was followed by two French women, Charlotte Bonnet who recorded a time of 54.98 and Camille Muffat who finished in a time of 55.61.
Full results can be found here