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For Florent Manaudou, it is necessarily a small slap. The triple Olympic medalist on his favorite distance (Gold in London, silver in Rio and Tokyo) certainly did not arrive in Hungary in the best conditions, after a “transitional” season. He was aware of not having the weapons to go and titillate the best. But failing in the semi-finals with the 11th time (21”95) is a disappointment for such a champion, accustomed to international finals.
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Tomac takes its mark
Manaudou was simply not ready enough for this appointment. After a good start where he tried to take the lead, the co-captain of the Blues did not go the distance in front of the competition. His compatriot, the young Caledonian sprinter Maxime Grousset, is waiting for him. Fourth in his series (21”83), the silver medalist in the 100m freestyle is in the play-offs against the Brazilian, Bruno Fratus. At 8:30 p.m., he will have to struggle to get his ticket for the final.
A few minutes later, Mewen Tomac had to settle for fifth place in the 200m backstroke. The young Frenchman (20) could not join the fight for the podium, despite a well-managed race. But sets a date for the future in a final won by Ryan Murphy where he improved his personal best (1’56”35). “I thought the podium would go slower than that, admitted the native of Evreux at the microphone of France 4. We still have to work. But I’m happy, I’m doing my race. It’s my first final. So I was very existed. I may have left a little too many feathers in there.” A final to learn clearly. And two years from Paris 2024, this is not trivial.
Henique and Wattel, can’t wait for Friday
If the French took seventh place in the final of the 4×200 m relay away from the United States, the blue day was not only disappointing. If Florent Manaudou cracked, his co-captain thus answered present. The 50m butterfly final even promises to be thrilling for the tricolor clan. Because Mélanie Henique and Marie Wattel have a good shot to play. Thursday, Henique amazed his world by largely dominating his series (25”41). Starting like a bomb, she took the third time in the semis behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and American Torri Huske, while she kept some underfoot at the end.
At his side this Friday, there will be Marie Wattel. Seventh place in the 100m freestyle final a few minutes before, the 27-year-old swimmer, vice-world champion in the 100m butterfly, reacted perfectly by taking the sixth fastest time in the half (25”56). And can dream of another medal in Budapest.
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