In case you read that too quickly the first time around, she came back in 1:58.54... from a push... in the second half of a 400m Freestyle race.
To put that into some perspective, 1:58.54 would place well inside the top 50 in the world this year in the 200m Free and is the fastest second half of a 400m Free in history. When Federica Pellegrini won in Shanghai last year she split 1:59.67 on the back half of her race, and when she set her world record of 3:59.15 she came back in 1:59.73.
Muffat has already shown that she has ample amounts of speed (54.44 in the 100m, 1:54.66 in the 200m Free this year), and as witnessed tonight, she has the staying power to compete with the likes of both Federica Pellegrini and Rebecca Adlington. The emphasis on the second half of her race will have come from her coach Fabrice Pellerin and looks to be a clear message to the Italian world champion. Given that the 400m Free can be a cagey final, Muffat has shown the kind of back end speed that we have yet to see from Pellegrini.
Understandably, given their previous successes, Pellegrini and Adlington have been most peoples choices for gold in London, but Muffat has taken her swimming to another level this year. Given that she has already swum 4:01.13 this year, she is also starting to show the kind of form that makes a sub-4 minute swim tantalisingly possible again.
I feel a vote coming on.
The women's 400m Free contenders:
Federica Pellegrini - World champion, world record holder. Yet to show her cards in 2012.
Rebecca Adlington - Olympic champion, world silver medalist, swimming in front of a home crowd.
Camille Muffat - Textile best time set this year (4:01.13), ultra consistent this year, has the ideal blend of speed and endurance.
Kylie Palmer - Has swum 4:03.40 this year and has been trending upwards in this event over the last two years.
Allison Schmitt - 4:05 untapered this year, has shown great speed in the 100m (53.94) and 200m Free (1:55.04) already in 2012.
Others - Chloe Sutton, Katie Hoff, Katie Ledecky, Mireia Belmonte, Bronte Barratt, Shao Yiwen, Xin Xin, Lotte Friis, Coralie Balmy, Lauren Boyle, Brittany MacLean, Joanne Jackson... all have a shot, but need to show more in this event to be considered in the top tier of medal contenders.