Monday, 27 June 2011
Laure Manaudou Comeback: Official
After breaking her return to competitive swimming last week, it was only a matter of time before Laure Manaudou made it official. She is back.
Interestingly, she registered for drug testing 9 months ago so is free to compete right away. This should give her plenty of opportunities to get some racing practice under her belt before next year's Olympic trials.
Manaudou said that she had gained weight in her time out of the sport, however from the shots of her at the Open EDF it didn't look like it was still there.
Responding to the news, Federica Pellegrini stated that she was curious to see what levels her French rival could get to and that she would treat Manaudou's comeback with 'respect'. Manaudou has earnt that respect, given that she has 3 of the top 4 textile suit times in the 400 Free (3 of the top 5 if you include Pellegrini's 4:01.53 from 2008's European's).
Pellegrini's current coach, and former mentor to Manaudou, Phillippe Lucas believes that her return 'is a plus for everyone, for women's swimming, but also for swimming in general and for French sport' and that she has 'very big potential in the 100 backstroke.'
Should Manaudou return to a high level (1:56 or 1:57) on the 200 Free, it leaves France with a pretty strong 4 x 200 Free relay. The team could look like Camille Muffat, Laure Manaudou, Coralie Balmy & Ophélie-Cyrielle Etienne. 16-year-old Charlotte Bonnet (1:59.10 this year) also looks like an intriguing prospect.
Update: This also just in from Pellegrini's twitter. (Best to assume the spelling mistake on Manaudou's name wasn't intentional).
(Translation: Hello friends, how are you? Sorry for writing little, but the workouts are intense. And now, Manadou is also back :-) Greetings to all!)