Manaudou Returns To Pool As Member Of Energy Standard

28-year-old Olympic champion Florent Manaudou is back, returning to the pool after an over 2-year hiatus, joining the ranks of the International Swimming League (ISL) Energy Standard squad. According to L’Equipe, the 50m free gold medalist is now aiming for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after his stint with handball.

After his silver medal behind American Anthony Ervin in Rio, Manaudou released a statement concerning his official slowdown from the high-speed life of an aquatic sprinter, but stopped from pointing to outright retirement.

In September 2016 he said, “I have thus decided to take a break from my triple daily workouts (2 sessions of swimming and 1 session of weights), yet still remain an active swimmer who will compete in a few meets this year.”

One of those meets was the Championnats de France Militaire de Natation in March 2017. He raced his signature sprints of the 50m fly, 50m free and 50m breast, but has been quiet since. He commentated the 2017 World Championships and 2018 European Championships for French TV, but never got wet.

Flash forward to today and Manaudou says,

“I thought for months. I want to resume the competition. For some time, I miss it and more and more.

I had a lot of fun doing the things I wanted to do for a long time, which I couldn’t do when I was swimming.

But talking to my family, my former coaches, I set myself a challenge. I want to train again, have fun like I hadn’t done for the Rio games.  Laure is one of the first people I spoke to “

Then he tells about the process that led him to return to competitive swimming.

“The process was done in several stages.

I was very happy to comment on the World Championships in Budapest (July 2017) and the European Championships in Glasgow (August 2018).

It was nice but I wanted to be downstairs. During the 50 m, it was a mixture of excitement, I tried to project myself, to tell me if I was there, what would I have done instead of that boy?

I spoke with James (Gibson, editor’s note – Energy Standard coach) .

He told me that I could still do something, that in Antalya (Turkey) for Energy Standard there were new structures, that the sport was evolving. 

He concludes by saying that every five weeks he will go to Antalya to train until the 2020 Olympics. He will try to swim as much as possible, and closed by saying:

“I don’t even know what I can do.”

Manaudou will be surrounded by good company, as ISL Energy Standard has already announced team members as follows: Dutch sprinter Femke Heemskerk, Belarusian breaststroker Ilya Shymanovich, Lithuanian freestyle ace Danas Rapsys, Aussie backstroking weapon Emily Seebohm and Canadian breaststroker Kierra Smith.

As we reported, team captains will be Olympic champions Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden and Chad Le Clos of South Africa.

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Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Well, things just got very interesting.

1 year ago

Appears a great move for Manaudo…. not sure Proud will feel the same after having been so used to the individual attention over the years. Be interesting to see how he reacts?

Reply to  Wetwales
1 year ago

I can’t think of a single professional swimmer who would take this in a negative way, especially when it comes to close rivals. This would be a great opportunity to grow further.

Reply to  ITR
1 year ago

I think lies a difference between US and European athletes, many European programmes don’t have the depth the US programmes have, thus the level of competition in training is just not the same.
I’m sure Proud was the first person Gibson spoke with when approached by Manaudou.
Agree lots of potential for growth in both athletes.

Reply to  Wetwales
1 year ago

I think Manaudou will push Proud to a new level. They will train with each other which will be great for both of them.

1 year ago

Great for the sport, particularly given his celebrity in France.

Intrigued by his statement about only swimming with Energy Standard every 5 weeks or so and “as much as possible” in between.

To win in Rio he’ll likely need to PB, and that needs laser focussed training when your existing PB’s a 21.19. Hopefully training with Proud fires up Manadou to go all in for Tokyo and Proud to push even harder. He talks quite a bit in the video about liking to be “the hunter not the hunted”, so I think training with Proud (“the hunted”) will help him push on.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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