He did it !
Five years after his silver medal in Rio and after a handball break of two and a half years, Florent Manaudou, 30, is back on an Olympic podium!
The CN Marseille sprinter took second place in the 50m NL (21′'55) behind the untouchable American Caeleb Dressel (21′'07, Olympic record), who won the fourth title of his Japanese week (after the 100m NL, 100m butterfly and 4 x 100m NL relay).
A hell of a performance for Manaudou, who was swimming in doubt in recent weeks in the face of times that did not take off and questions that jostled in his head.
So, the 2012 Olympic champion took advantage of his week in the village to clear his mind and enjoy the atmosphere and the energy of the Games.
“These are the Games where I succeed the least
Editor's note: no podium with the 4 x 100 m NL, only 6th in the final, unlike Rio from where he came back with a silver lining
and yet these are the ones that I appreciate most, he slipped out of the series.
I decided to let go because it was too complicated and I did not come back to suffer neither in the water nor outside… ”
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Author in the semifinals of his best time since his return to the pools in spring 2019 (21′'53), the Marseillais did not manage to go up a notch. But the color of the metal is more than enough for his happiness and allows him to bring home a fourth medal in five ring finals (after gold and silver over 50 m NL and silver in 4 x 100 m NL). And become the second swimmer in history after the American Gary Hall Jr to climb three times in a row on the Olympic podium in the 50m NL.
Thanks to its leader and male captain, the swimming tricolor race avoids the zero point in Japan just one hour before the curtain rolls down at the Aquatics Center.
Some elements (Maxime Grousset, 4th in the 100m NL, Léon Marchand, 6th in the 400m medley or Marie Wattel, 6th in the 100m butterfly) suggest a future that may be brighter by 2024 when the Blues will dive to residence.
And where Manaudou should be at the rendezvous.
In the meantime, there are still eight days of competition and the swimmer set the example for Sunday by bringing France their twentieth medal.