Yannick Agnel Says Danas Rapšys Is the Only Man Swimming the 200 Free Right

On September 23, former French swimmer Yannick Agnel was a guest on Inside with Brett Hawke, a podcast hosted by the former Auburn University swimmer and head coach.

Hawke swam for Auburn University for three years, in that time earning 17 All-American honors and was a nine-time NCAA individual champion. He also represented Australia in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics, following his time at Auburn. He returned to the U.S. in 2006, and began coaching at Auburn until 2018. 

In his most recent podcast episode, Hawke hosted 28-year-old Yannick Agnel, a three-time Olympic medalist. 

In the episode, Hawke and Agnel discuss the 200 freestyle event, saying Danas Rapšys, a 25-year-old from Lithuania, is the only swimmer today swimming it “right.” 

Rapšys is a one-time Olympian and a multiple-time Lithuanian record holder in the men’s backstroke, freestyle and butterfly events. At the 2019 FINA World Championship, Rapšys was disqualified after initially touching first in the men’s 200 freestyle (1:44.69), due to a false start.

“There is only one way to dominate and win a 200 freestyle,” Agnel said on the podcast, after emphasizing the need to “attack” the race. “When I’m watching swimming now, the only guy that knows how to swim a 200 freestyle is Danas Rapšys. And you know what, if it wasn’t for him to have shaken the blocks in Gwangju, he would have won.”

Agnel, who retired after the Rio Olympic Games, has the 3rd-fastest time in history in the 200 free, having swum 1:43.14 to win gold at the 2012 Olympic Games. That is also the fastest time in history outside of the 2008-2009 polyurethane ‘supersuit’ era.

In that race, he won over Sun Yang and Park Tae-Hwan, who tied for silver with matching 1:44.93s. His opening 100 meter split of 50.64 was the best in the field, but only by .14 seconds ahead of Park.

Rather, it was Agnel’s closing 50 meter split of 25.98, which was more than a second better than even the distance specialist Sun, that made up most of his gap in that event.

Brett Hawke’s podcast can be listened to with a subscription to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Youtube.


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Woke Stasi
7 months ago

You gotta love it: YANNICK AGNEL adding his two cents to Critical Race Theory!

7 months ago

Didn’t Rapšys touch in 1:44.69 before the DQ, not 1:45.07?

7 months ago

I know Townley doesn’t do it long course as much but when he was a freshman at Texas and first broke the NCAA record in the 2free at NCAA’s he went out faster than anyone expected and just held on. Short course it’s much less intimidating to go out fast because of all the walls and the yards pool. Everyone saw that barrier of 1:31 and an “untouchable” 10 year old record get broken and thought he’s insane but it worked. Then later Pieroni went out after Townley and ended up as the first to go 1:29. Then Dean came along and just went crazy the first 100 too and almost broke 1:29 all in a span of a few… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Poolboy
7 months ago

Then Townley went out like crazy for 250 yards of the 500 free at NCAAs, and he’s never been the same.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
7 months ago

To be fair, Townley did drop a pretty good sub 1:46 untapered (not 100% sure) 2 free before quarantine.