Coach Nicolas Messer is on-deck at the French Open, and brought us this report of the first day’s prelims session.
Three weeks before the start of the Olympic Games in London, the European swimming elite is meeting in the “Bois de Boulogne” for the EDF Open. With the French Olympic team in attendance the hype around this year’s edition seems bigger than in previous years.
Add to the French athletes squads such as a selection of the Australian National Team, Andrea Di Nino’s ADN, the Dutch sprinters from Marseille and the scene in Paris is set for a great competition.
Camille Muffat, poster girl of the meet, cruised to a convincing prelims win in the women’s 200 free in 1:58.16. It didn’t look like she was holding back anything in her morning swim. There wasn’t a single stroke that wasn’t executed almost perfectly and at no time there was a doubt she wasn’t in total control of what she was doing. We might not see the leading time in the 200 free later today in finals but just three weeks shy of the Olympic 200 free, she makes another statement that she will be in the mix come the day the medals will be awarded in London.
Poster boy of the meet and training partner of Camille, Yannick Agnel, flexed his muscled turning in 1:47.82 at the 200 mark of the 400 freestyle finishing 8th in 4:01.81. Same as Camille in her 200 free, Yannick was most certainly not holding back but didn’t seem to push the limits on that first 200.
The other highlights of the first morning in Paris for the French were the 100 back with Camille Lacourt and Benjamin Stavilius taking the top spots for the finals in 54.18 and 55.37, respectively; as well as the 100 free where the French are leading the charge with 7 swimmers sitting in the top spots. Rounding up the top 8 for tonight is Aussie Matt Targett as the last one swimming sub 50″ this morning.
The men’s 50 breast and women’s 50 free should provide for interesting finals tonight. Names such as Cameron van der Burgh, Fabio Scozzoli, Marleen Veldhuis, Therese Alshammar and Yolane Kukla will test their speed going into the final preparations for London.
Coach Kim Brackin in attendance with Zimbaebian Olypian Kirsty Coventry seems excited after the morning swims. Looks like after a few injuries earlier this year, Kirsty is back on track for the London Olympics.
You can find interviews, pictures and of course full results at www.openedf.com.