Yannick Agnel Breaks 400 Free Short Course WR at French Nationals

When Yannick Agnel said he as giving up the 400 free for good to focus on the 100 and 200, he apparently didn’t mean in short course. Today at French Nationals in he swam a 3:32.25 which knocked half-a-second off of the suited 3:32.77 that Germany’s Paul Biedermann swam at the 2009 Berlin World Cup circuit for the fastest 400 free in short course meters history.

What’s really scary is that Agnel knocked more than 7 seconds off of his old personal best of 3:39.91 French Record from 2010.

Unfortunately, the timing system was having some issues on day 1 in Angers, so his exact splits aren’t available, but needless to say he was flying on this race.

This is a record that has only been held by now 7 different swimmers in history, and when it is broken, it is usually by large margins (even larger than the half-second that Agnel chunked out of it). Biedermann, for example, took almost two seconds off of Grant Hackett’s record, who took almost 5 from Ian Thorpe.

The French are looking on fire as they prepare for their clear fall focus meet, the European Championships that they are hosting in Chartres very soon. Aside from Agnel’s swim, Olympic Champion Florent Manaudou moved to 14th on the all-time list with a 20.86 to win the 50 free, which is a National Championship meet record. He’s now just half-a-second from Roland Schoeman’s World Record of 20.30.

Jeremy Stravius had a fairly disappointing summer, making the Olympic team only as a part of the French 800 free relay, but he’s swimming with a vengance this fall. He broke the French National Record with a 1:54.50 in the men’s 200 IM. The French men have never been great IM’ers, but that swim took almost a second off of his old 1:55.46 set at this same meet last December. No other French swimmer in history has been better than a 1:57.

Benjamin Stasiulis is another swimmer responding to a disappointing Olympics, where he was only 31st in the 100 back, with big swims here. He won the 200 in 1:52.07.

Giacomo Perez Dortona, the new top French breaststroke, won the 100 in 58.31 – four-tenths better than his own PB in the event set way back in 2008. Finally, in the 100 fly, the young Medhy Metella is finally fulfilling his massive potential, winning in 51.30. That’s seven-tenths faster than he’s ever been. He was followed in 2nd by Spanish butterflier Rafael Munoz, a World Record holder who has struggled to even qualify for international events since the rubber suits went away. Munoz is now training in France at Marseilles, and placed 2nd in 51.87.

The women were swimming very well too; Camille Muffat won the women’s 100 free in 52.73, a new Championships Record, but was followed by a 53.65 from Charlotte Bonnet which is a new National 17 & under record. For Muffat, that is within three-tenths of her best time, and with how well she swam at her one World Cup stop, I think at this point it’s almost an expectation that she’s going to get either a 200 or 400 World Record this week or next.

That was one of four National Age Records set by the French on the day. In the 200 fly, Marie Wattel took the 15 & under record by touching 4th in 2:14.89, while Camille Wishaupt took the 14 & under record with a 2:16.84 for 7th. Another 14’s record went down in the 50 breaststroke thanks to a 33.25 fromMaud Raynert.

If there were a slightly disappointing swim on the first day of competition, it would probably be Laure Manaudou’s 100 backstroke. She won in 58.07. It’s by no means a bad time, but it’s certainly not enough to stave off plans for retirement.

The European Championships begin exactly one week from today on November 22nd.

Full meet results available here.

 

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Jack
10 years ago

Yannick Agnel is becoming a bit of a Thorpe very rapidly. He has the full set, speed, endurance, underwaters, tactics, and his 200 in London showed he’s got the balls to go for it. He could quite possibly be a world medallist from 100-800 next year, not the he would go for it.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Jack
10 years ago

i really really want Agnel to swim the 400 and give Sun a run for his money. but anything past that, i don’t know. i don’t think he has the endurance of Sun Yang to be swimming that many events.

Rafael
Reply to  Philip Johnson
10 years ago

It would be what sun needs to finally go 3:40.. someone on his knees…

Jack
Reply to  Philip Johnson
10 years ago

He does not need the endurance of Sun to medal at 800. He does to win gold, which I couldn’t see him doing. But he is the ER holder…who says he couldn’t medal.

bobo gigi
10 years ago

Breaking news! It’s all totally crazy! Now Yannick Agnel breaks the 800 free european record in the morning prelims in 7.29.17! I don’t understand anything! I believed he would become a sprinter. Perhaps he finally wants to become a miler! Braden, I think you will have much work with him in the days to come.

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
10 years ago

Correction. No prelims/final in the 800 free. It was already his final. He swam in the lower heats and at his best.

bobo gigi
10 years ago

I have forgotten to say that I’m always happy to see a record made by a suit swimmer erased. Nothing against Paul Biedermann who is a great swimmer but I prefer when the best swimmers have the records.
Other news. Camille Lacourt is out for the short course season. He has an ear problem. And Amaury Leveaux is sick for these championships.

bobo gigi
10 years ago

Oh My God! Like you say so often in USA!
Seriously I follow french swiming and I didn’t see that coming from Yannick Agnel. I thought he had completely given up the 400 free to focus only on sprint and now he breaks a world record in the 400 free in SCM. I don’t understand anything. He said after the race it wasn’t planned and he raced this event only for fun. I continue to think he will not swim this race in the future in long course in the big international competitions. And Sun Yang is tough to beat. But this world record will perhaps make him reflect on a possible change of mind. Yannick Agnel has improved… Read more »

Philip Johnson
10 years ago

he would rule the 400 free long course if he swam it

hkswimmer
Reply to  Philip Johnson
10 years ago

His great improvement from 2011 is definitely in his all round skills, such as turns and underwaters. I just wish Sun Yang had better starts/turns/dolphin

Rafael
Reply to  hkswimmer
10 years ago

If sun were better on these skills.. you could watch all 200 400 and 1500 not waiting for who was gonna win, but how much he would lower the WR each time..

DDias
10 years ago

Agnel splits:
24.28, 50.80, 1:17.68, 1:44.73, 2:11.69, 2:38.85, 3:05.80

anonamouse
10 years ago

Converts to a 4:04.72 500fr SCY on swimming worlds time converter

Coach
10 years ago

Just like Bobo always says:
France=freestyle industry

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

If they didn’t have Agnel, would they still be a “freestyle industry”?

Josh
Reply to  Philip Johnson
10 years ago

They won the 4 x 100 free relay and silver in the 4 x 200 at the Olympics which requires more than one swimmer, so yeah.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Josh
10 years ago

but Agnel was a HUGE part of that, just saying.

Coach
Reply to  Philip Johnson
10 years ago

Manadou(s), Bousquet, Muffat, …

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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