Shanghai Roundup: French Lineup Clarified; Chinese Continue Perfect Diving Streak

Tom Willdridge of SpeedEndurance is reporting that an official French Press Release clarifies that young French star Yannick Agnel WILL be swimming both the individual 400 free and the 400 free relay, despite earlier reports by his camp that he would scratch both races to focus on the 200 and 800 free relay, where he is a strong medal candidate. His coaches were initially concerned that a lung infection that lost him more than a week of training at the end of April would hurt his endurance too much for him to be competitive over four events. Based on the way he’s swum the last month, however, he appears to be fit and back in fighting shape…

…More from Tom Willdridge: Camille Muffat will take on a huge range of events in Shanghai, going from the 100 free all the way up to the 800 free. She’s probably the only swimmer in the meet who will be a medal contender in all four of those distances. She’s also going to participate in the 800 free relay and the 400 medley, though that means she’s decided against adding the 400 free relay to her lengthy list of events…

…One last note from the French press release: Fred Bousquet will be the butterflier on the men’s 400 medley relay. That is huge for France’s chances to medal in that relay: last year his 51.84 relay split was the fastest in the country by a full second, and at Naationals this year he split a 53.2, which was seven-tenths faster than anybody else the French had. Combined with Camille Lacourt, Hugues Duboscq, and (Insert-a-Frenchman) on the freestyle, that relay suddenly looks like a favorite…

…Another athlete with concerns about healthy besides Agnel is Australia’s James Magnussen, who for much of 2011 sat with the fastest 100 free time in the world. Several Australian media outlets are reporting that Magnussen is “fit” and back to normal after a bout with pneumonia last week, and so despite some implications that he might have been dropped from Australia’s World’s roster, all indications are that he’s good to go. We will find out for sure when the psych sheets are released sometime this week…

…Could China go for a clean sweep on diving? So far, they are 6-for-6 on gold medals, and in the two solo events thus far they’ve taken silver as well. In the women’s 1-meter springboard, 19-year old Shi Tingmao is the young future of Chinese diving with a winning score of 318.65. Behind her was Wang Han with 310.20 points. This is scary, because the women’s 1-meter (a non-Olympic event) is the only event that the Chinese women haven’t dominated. Prior to this year, China had only won three total medals in the past four World Championships on the 1-meter. Italy’s Tania Cangotto took  bronze, and Italy also got 4th from Maria Marconi. American’s Abby Johnson and Kelci Bryant finished 6th and 9th, respectively…

In the men’s synchronized 3-meter, China’s Qin Kai and Luo Yutong took the gold with a score of 463.98. The Russian pair of Ilya Kakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov took silver, 12 points back, though the competition wasn’t even as close as that score indicated. The Russians nailed twin 4.5 somersaults tuck, on their final dive for 100.32 points, which was by 10 the highest individual dive score of the competition, and vaulted them from 4th to 2nd. Aside from the Russians, only the Ukrainians tried this dive, which was the hardest used in the competition. Mexico’s Yahel Castillo and Julian Sanchez took bronze. Americans Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais earned poor synchronization scores on their final dive, and slid from silver all the way to 4th and out of the medals: 8 points behind the Mexicans…

…Men’s open water 10km starts tonight at 9 PM Eastern US Time (9 AM local Shanghai time). This race is wide-open, with Germany’s Thomas Lurz, the USA’s Alex Meyer, and Italy’s Valerio Clerio probably the three favorites. If it comes down to it, Meyer and Cleri have the endurance, whereas Lurz has the closing kick (which we saw pay off for Keri-Anne Payne in the women’s 10k last night). Just like in the women’s race, the top 10 get automatic bids for the Olympics next year. Countries who seem to be in good position to potentially earn two bids are Russia, Italy, and France (which nobody accomplished in the women’s race). This scale of race is new for both Americans, Meyer and Sean Ryan. The two representatives at the 2010 World Championships were the late Fran Crippen and Chip Peterson, neither of whom is entered in this race.

Things stayed exactly on course in the third synchronized swimming final: the team technical routine. The Russians again dominated their competition for three golds in as many events. In fact, the finish-order has been identical in all three events so far: Russia gold, China silver, Spain bronze. The Russians have shown amazing depth in their sweep as well: none of their team members competed in the technical duet or solo competitions (unlike China and Spain)…

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10 years ago

On muffat, did her coach not say that if she swims the 100FR she will then not swim the 4×200 as the events clash to tightly? i remember an article…

Take a look! She may have decided to go for both.
This could ruin the French 800free relay.

10 years ago

Maybe Muffat won’t feel as bad sitting out of the 4×200 free relay at night or something in 2012. Don’t forget they will have Laure Manadou back…

10 years ago

There’s no way Muffat is left out from the 800 FR as she is their strongest freestyler by far, UNLESS the french already decide they have no hope of medalling and hence surrender, which is a possibility, knowing the french.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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