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London Olympics 2012

Laure Manaudou

Laure ManaudouLaure ManaudouLaure ManaudouLaure ManaudouLaure Manaudou

Laure Manaudou, born 9 October 1986 in Villeurbanne, Rhône, France is a champion swimmer. She is the daughter of a French father and a Dutch mother. Manaudou held the world record for the 400 meter freestyle (short course), but lost it to Federica Pellegrini at the World Championships in 2009. She also lost her long course record, which is set in 50 meter pools. She won the gold medal in the women's 400 meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics. It was France's first gold medal ever in women's swimming and the first swimming gold medal won by a French athlete since Jean Boiteux's victory in the 400 meter men's freestyle event at Helsinki in 1952. Manaudou won the silver medal in the women's 800 meter freestyle at the Athens Olympics. In that race, she had a quick start but was passed down the stretch by Ai Shibata of Japan. She also won the bronze medal in the women's 100 meter backstroke, becoming only the second Frenchwoman to win three medals in a single Olympic Games, Summer or Winter. The first one was the track and field athlete Micheline Ostermeyer in London in 1948. Manaudou was by far the best swimmer on the French team, and did not have the team support to win a medal in the women's 4×200 meter freestyle relay.

Manaudou is currently tied for second (three medals altogether) on the all-time list of French multiple female Winter or Summer Olympic medal winners along with Micheline Ostermeyer, Marielle Goitschel, Pascale Trinquet-Hachin, Perrine Pelen, Anne Briand-Bouthiaux, Marie-José Pérec, Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli and Félicia Ballanger. The all-time leader is the fencer Laura Flessel Colovic, who has five Olympic medals. Manadou won three gold medals at the 2004 European Swimming Championships in Madrid, Spain, for the 100 meter backstroke, 400 meter freestyle, and the 4×100 meter team medley races. On 24 July 2005 at the 2005 World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, Canada, Manaudou won the women's 400 meter freestyle. Manaudou was under world record pace for the first half of the race. In the second half of the race, Manaudou was challenged by Shibata, her rival from the Olympics. Pundits were already predicting that Manaudou would eventually eclipse the world-record mark in the 400 meter freestyle set by Janet Evans at the 1988 Summer Olympics. This would happen on 12 May 2006, as she broke Evans's world record of 4:03.85 during the final of the French championship in Tours with the time of 4:03.03.

On 12 May 2006, Manaudou broke Janet Evans's world record in the women's 400 meter freestyle that had stood for 18 years. Manaudou then held the same world record for nearly two years. On 6 August 2006, on the final day of the 2006 European Swimming Championships in Budapest, she broke her own world record with a time of 4:02.13 in winning the 400 meter freestyle title. She also won the 800 meter freestyle in European record time, 200 meter individual medley and 100 meter backstroke titles. In addition, she obtained the bronze medal in the 200 meter freestyle, 4×200 meter team freestyle and 4×100 meter team medley. With her four titles, she equalled the record of the number of individual titles won in the same European swimming championships held by East Germany's Ute Geweniger in 1981 and Hungary's Krisztina Egerszegi in 1993.

Manaudou broke the 200 meter freestyle world record at the 2007 World Swimming Championships in Melbourne in winning the final. She also won the 400 meter freestyle event, obtained a silver for the 100 meter backstroke and the 800 meter freestyle, and a bronze for 4×200 meter freestyle relay. She was leading the race in the 800 meter final going into the last lap, but the American Kate Ziegler finally overtook her in the last meters to win by a margin of 28 cm. She was thus prevented from becoming the first female swimmer to win the 200 meter, 400 meter and 800 meter freestyle titles at the same World Championships.

In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Manaudou was unable to recapture her form from the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. After starting strong and holding the lead at the 200-meter mark, she finished last (eighth) in the 400 meter freestyle final with a finishing time of 4:11.26. After the defeat Manaudou admitted giving up during the race after struggling to keep up. She then finished seventh in the 100 meter backstroke final. In her final hope for a medal, in the 200 meter backstroke, she finished last in her semifinal heat and was eliminated.

On 17 September 2009, at 22 years of age, Manaudou announced through the newspaper Le Parisien her retirement from competitive swimming. She was quoted as saying, "It came to me little by little. I didn’t make it on impulse. It has matured slowly.”

However, at the age of 24 she is again swimming competitively and went into training at Auburn. She returned to competitive swimming on July 14, 2011, setting a personal record in the 50 meter freestyle (25.93s) at Athens,


Event Olympics Games World Championships European Championships
2004 in Athens
Greek flag Greece
2005 in Montréal
Canada flag Canada
2007 in Melbourne
Australian flag Australia
2004 in Madrid
Spain flag Spain
2006 in Budapest
Hungary flag Hungary
2008 in Eindhoven
Dutch flag Netherlands
Freestyle 200 meter 1:55.52 WR 1:58,38
400 meter 4:05.34 ER 4:06.44 4:02.61 CR 4:07.90 4:02.13 WR
800 meter 8:24.96 8:18.80 ER 8:19.29 ER
4×200 meter 7:55.96 NR 7:56.44 NR 7:52.09 NR
Backstroke 100 meter 1:00.88 59.87 ER 1:00.93 1:00.88 1:00.05
200 meter 2:07.99 NR
Medley 200 meter 2:12.69
4×100 meter 4:05.96 4:03.64 NR

gold medal Gold Medal        gold medal Silver Medal      gold medal Bronze Medal

See more of Laure at: www.lauremanaudou.fr

source: www.wikipedia.org


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