Yannick Agnel Given the Opportunity to Defend 200 Free Title in Rio

France’s Yannick Agnel (Mulhouse Olympic Natation) may defend his 2012 OIympic title in the 200 free after all.

The French Federation (FFN) held a press conference this morning to announce the men and women who will represent France at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, following their Olympic Trials last week. The French swimming world has been in suspended disbelief since last Wednesday when Agnel appeared very clearly to finish second in the 200 free final behind Jérémy Stravius, but clocked the third-fastest time after touching the pad too low. (See our coverage here.)

Since then there has been a great deal of speculation as to how the FFN would deal with the situation. Jordan Pothain, who was the official silver medalist, said in a press conference with Agnel’s coach Lionel Horter, that he believed he had touched third. Pothain later notched a FINA A cut when he won the 400 free, making him a good bet to be selected to the French roster anyway. But then things got complicated again when Agnel said in an interview with Sport365.fr that he would refuse an invitation to swim the 200 free individually in order to concentrate on his 200 free in the 4×200 relay, saying: “Today, with 1:46.4, which I think I swam [Editor’s note: Agnel’s official third-place time was 1.46.99.], I am not competitive to medal. If I am selected, that’s very nice, but that won’t keep me from turning down the individual 200 free to concentrate on the 4×200 relay, which has a strong chance to medal.”Jacques Favre press conference 6 April 2016

With all that as the background, National Technical Director Jacques Favre said in this morning’s press conference, “There will be a place reserved for Yannick Agnel in the 200 free after we discuss it with him.” (“Sur le 200m nage libre, une place sera réservée à Yannick Agnel après avoir discuté avec lui.”)

It is understood that Pothain stepped aside in the 200 to allow this scenario to play out. He will swim the 400 free individually and be on France’s 4×200 free relay in Rio.

Agnel has not yet decided if he will accept the individual selection. He told Infosport+, “I will do everything I can to be in top form [for the 200]. If I don’t feel I can be competitive in the individual race, I will step aside.” (“Je vais tout donner pour être en forme. Si je ne me sens compétitif sur l’individuel je me désisterai.”)

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bobo gigi

Official French roster

Lacourt. 100 back
Manaudou. 50 free/4X100 free
Mignon. 100 free/4X100 free
Stravius. 100 free/200 free/4X100 free/4X200 free/100 fly
Agnel. 200 free (if he wants)/4X200 free
Bourelly. 4X200 free
Metella. 100 fly/4X100 free
Pothain. 200 free (unless Agnel swims it)/400 free/4X200 free
Bousquet. 50 free
Coelho. 200 fly
D’Oriano. 1500 free
Joly. 1500 free
Bussière. 4X100 medley
Gilot. 4X100 free
Mallet. 4X200 free
Meynard. 4X100 free

Balmy. 200 free/400 free/800 free
Bonnet. 100 free/200 free/4X200 free
Gastaldello. 100 free/100 fly
Grangeon. 200 fly/200 IM/400 IM
Hénique. 50 free
Lesaffre. 200 IM/400 IM
Santamans. 50 free
Wattel. 100 fly
Cini. 4X100 free
Deberghes. 4X100 medley
Fabre. 4X200 free
Hache. 4X200 free


Huh. Guess Mignon must have stepped aside for the 50 free too.


How is Deberges included in the roster for 4×100 medley relay? Who is going to swim breastroke in relay for France?
And is this final list of swimmers that are going to Olympics? Thanks



bobo gigi

4 months for Agnel until Rio to drop 2 seconds and win the gold.
A miracle is always possible….

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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