Florent Manaudou Bypasses Barcelona Battle With Nathan Adrian After 48.8 Heat
Speedometers at the Ready. Sprint kings and queens are bound for battle over two laps freestyle in Barcelona and Rome this evening.
The bad news is that after a 48.8 in heats from Olympic 50m champion Florent Manaudou (FRA) in the Catalan capital the morning the evening final will not witness the promised clash with Olympic 100m champion Nathan Adrian, the Frenchman having opted to shy away from the race over two laps freestyle.
The start list for the final this evening confirms the Frenchman’s absence and the decision of the swimmer and his coach Romain Barnier to put off racing the Olympic champion until another day. A pity for the meet and the sport, especially after the Frenchman corrected his morning heats pace with a 48.81 in heats at the final stage of the Mare Nostrum tour this morning. In Canet midweek, Manaudou clocked 49.9 in heats and found himself out of the final. Adrian claimed the A final in 48.4, Manaudou the B final in 48.7, which would have placed him second to another 48.7 in the A final, from Cuban Hanser Garcia.
This morning in Barcelona, Adrian clocked 49.64 to progress to the final in fifth place. Manaudou would have been in lane 4, Garcia, on 49.12, in lane 5, with Russian Andrey Grechin in lane 3, on 49.34 in heats. Lane 6 was taken by Japan’s Shniri Shioura in 49.62, Adrian in lane 2. The pack now shuffles.
Manaudou’s personal best is a 48.41 in heats at the Sette Colli Trophy a year ago, while Adrian’s high is the 47.52 in which he claimed Olympic gold in London 0.01sec ahead of Australian James Magnussen. A battle for the future.
The women’s 50m free also promises another keen clash, Denmark’s in-form Jeanette Ottesen on 24.87 this morning, Brit Fran Halsall on 25.18, with Pernille Blume (DEN) and Natalie Coughlin (USA) in the mix, all eyes doubtless allowing themselves a fleeting glimpse of action across the Med in Rome and a 24.36 from Sarah Sjostrom on a stellar day for the Swedish sprinter yesterday.
Meanwhile, French ace Jeremy Stravius is out of action: he withdrew from racing today suffering from back pain and will return home to Amiens.
And Over At The Sette Colli, Another Sprint Clash In Prospect
The speed picked up in heat 7 when Femke Heemskerk popped a 54.02 in the 100m free on day 2 of 3 at the 51st Sette Colli trophy. Next up, her Dutch teammates, Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo [Photo: arena], on 54.14, and Inge Dekker, on 54.45, added to the gathering storm for the final.
After a stellar day 1, Sarah Sjostrom committed to battle with a 54.43 ahead of Sweden teammate Michelle Colenan, 54.57, in the last line-up.
Among several more challenges on the cards for Hungarian Katinka Hosszu today is the 400m medley, the double world champion having set the pace this morning on 4:43.16. Over in Barcelona at Mare Nostrum, Brit rivals for the European crown later in the summer, Hannah Miley and Aimee Willmott set up their own tussle on 4:41.24 and 4:44.28 respectively.
In the 50m breaststroke heats in Rome, Olympic 100m champion Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) clocked 30.13, a meet mark, closest to her Jennie Johansson (SWE), on 30.82.
In the men’s 50m breaststroke Italian Andrea Toniato set a meet mark of 27.25 for fifth slot on the current world rankings. That set up a clash with South African world-titles podium placers, a 27.59 from Barcelona bronze medallist Giulio Zorzi ahead of a 27.83 from world champion Cameron Van der Burgh.