Friday, 24 June 2011
5e Open EDF de Natation
WATCH LIVE (kind of. Sunday's finals are 'live' on Eurosport 2 from 16:15 -17:30 BST London time. That's a delay of 45 minutes)
The Open EDF, one of Europe's premier race meetings gets underway this weekend. Prestigious in its own right, this year has the added bonus of serving as a superb tune-up meet for Shanghai.
Races To Watch
Cesar Cielo v Fred Bousquet v Nathan Adrian (50m)
Cielo v Adrian v Fabien Gilot v Marco Di Carli (100m)
There is something about France and sprint Freestyle that goes well together. The meet organisers have pulled off a coup by attracting some of the top freestylers in the world. In both the 50 and 100 Free, 6 of the world's top 10 this year are competing.
Middle Distance Freestyle
This weekend will be the first time the swimming world gets to see Agnel in action since it was revealed that he was suffering from a lung infection. At the time his participation in the 400 Free and 4 x 100 Free relay in Shanghai was in doubt, but the French star will compete in both races this weekend. If all goes well in Paris, the decision to skip the events might need to come under review.
Camille Lacourt v Matt Grevers (50m & 100m Back)
Despite being ranked 1st and 3rd in the 50 and 100 Back last year, this meet marks the first time Lacourt and Grevers will be going mano-a-mano since the Frenchman's breakthrough in 2010. Backstroke fans should savor this race though, as Grevers didn't make the US team for Shanghai.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace v Feemke Heemskerk v Inge Dekker
After setting some remarkable records in short course yards, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace comes into Shanghai as an intriguing darkhorse. She will need to be on form in Paris though, as she is going up against two of the strongest sprint freestylers in the world in Heemskerk and Dekker.
Annie Chandler v Moniek Nijhuis v Sara El Bekri v Nadja Higl
How nice it must be for Chandler to look at the start list and not see the names Soni or Hardy above her. Going up against the American are some of Europe's (and North Africa's) top Breaststrokers. Dutch fans will be looking for Moniek Nijhuis to put up a good time with Shanghai fast approaching. A strong Breaststroke is all that is missing on Holland's 4 x 100 Medley relay.