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!)


  1. Logic alone suggests the 200 back to be her best bet. however some just don't like the event.

    Giaan Rooney was also a 100 back force plus a 200 Free world champ but never did the 200 back.

    Oh well - thats freedom .

  2. Nathalie Coughlin also hates the 200 back so much. She swam the 200 seriously only in college, and that was because she had to, and in SCY as well.

    We can only imagine how good Coughlin could have been had she also tackled 200 back. She's still the top 200 free in the USA and she won olympics 200 IM bronze!

  3. The 200back has recently amped up in competitive (much like the 200fly). Between Francklin, Zhao, Hocking, Nay, Beisel, Coventry and possibly others like Castel, Sakai and Zueva, it may not 206 just to medal. This event is no way less competitive than the 200free.

  4. The 200 is an impossible nut to crack, you simply cannot predict a winner, probably Zhao & Simmonds are the standouts but who knows, I dont think Castel is in the same class as the other girls John listed yet, but she is improving. low 2.06 will 'medal' in 2012 and i expect both Franklin & Simmonds will go 2.05s, Coventry & Zueva might just struggle to replicate 2009 in a few weeks, i think the podium will be 3 new athletes.