The siblings Manaudou made their post-Olympic debuts at a national meet in Compiegne over the weekend, swum in a 25 meter course, and did not fail to disappoint the crowds.
Younger brother Florent, the Olympic 50m champion, sat out that event at this meet to focus on the 100 and a few other races. He did put up, though a 47.24 that moves him to 8th in the world this year and into 7th on the all-time list: jumping his coach Romain Barnier. Germany’s Marco di Carli struggled in the Olympic summer and didn’t look great here to start his fall either: finishing 2nd in only 48.45. It’s typical for Di Carli to rely on a big taper, and he’s always been better in long course than in short course, but to contend at either the European or World Championships for a medal will take some considerable work still.
His only other swim of the three-day competition was the 50 breaststroke, where he started out on Sunday with a 26.58 Meet Record, which is a top-6 time in the world. It also just misses the French Record by .06 seconds. For all of his success in the 50 freestyle this summer, we musn’t forget that he’s one of those typical International-style sprinters who can fly in a 50 of anything (and for a time looked like he would be the heir-apparent to France’s butterfly throne).
He would bow out in that race in the semi-finals as Giacomo Perez-Dortona went on to win the head-to-head final easily in 27.54.
Older sister Laure Manaudou would also have good luck in sprint events, though she would focus on the backstrokes. She first won the 50 in 27.91, and then took the title in the 100 the next day in 58.41: a Meet Record for her as well. In that 100, she beat Germany’s best Jenny Mensing, who was 2nd in 59.67.
Other highlights of the weekend included Coralie Balmy from Tolouse. The 25-year old saw a resurgence in her career this year, after a challenging 2011, that included having her in a medal-position going into the Olympic final (where she ultimately was 6th). That seems to have continued early into the short course season, as she dominatd both the 200 free (1:56.98) and 100 free (54.85) in Compiegne.
Internationally, there was a very good contingent of German junior swimmers at this meet. 14-year old Chantal Noe took 3rd in the 50 breast, and swimming in the seniors final placed 2nd in 1:11.29. The German women have a lot of good young breaststrokers coming through their ranks right now, including 15-year olds Margarethe Hummel (who didn’t swim this meet) and Rosalie Kathner, who won the “16 & under” final in 1:13.33 (though many who could have been classed in that group wound up in the senior final instead).
In Manaudou’s absence, the men’s 50 free was won by a stiff 22.59 from Jeremy Stravius, off of a 22.35 in the semi-finals and a 22.30 in the prelims (getting a touch slower in each of the three rounds – swum only in 22 minutes from start-to-finish). He toppe countrymate Gregory Mallet there, though the second-fastest time overall went to a prelims swim from Belgium’s best in short course Yoris Grandjean (22.34).
Stravius would also win the 100 back in a 51.79: a top-10 time in the world this year.