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Stasiulis Speeds Past Shiny Standard

Mar 23, 2012  - Craig Lord

French Olympic Trials, Dunkirk, day 6 finals:

Benjamin Stasiulis, of Amiens Metrolpole, cracked a French record that had stood from a time of shiny suits with a 1:56.39 victory in the 200m backstroke, while Laure Manaudou's little bro Florent clocked 21.86 to take lane 4 for the final of the 50m freestyle.

Race reports

Men's 200m backstroke

Benjamin Stasiulis, of Amiens Metrolpole, cracked the French record with a 1:56.39 victory that placed him second on the world rankings so far this year. There silver but no second Olympic berth went to Eric Ress, Antibes, in 1:58.78, 0.3sec shy of the London 2012 target. The bronze went to Joris Hustache in 2:01.38.

The joyful news: Stasiulis took down a record that was set at a time of shiny suits. The 1:56.64 mark had stood to Pierre Roger since 2009, while the champion anew's best had been the 1:57.27 in which he claimed the French crown a year ago.

The winning splits: 27.47; 56.76; 1:26.91; 1:56.39 

Olympic Season Takes Shape - 2012 top 5 (two per nation):

  • 1:54.02 Ryosuke Irie (JPN) 
  • 1:56.39 Benjamin Stasiulis (FRA) 
  • 1:57.59 Matt Grevers (USA) 
  • 1:57.85 Sebastiano Ranfagni (ITA)
  • 1:57.90 Mitch Larkin (AUS)

Stasiulis left Australia with one in the top 5.

Men's 200m medley

For a nation that has formidable firepower across all strokes, France struggles yet to find a men's medley force. The national crown went to Guillaume Strohmeyer, Nice, on 2:03.00, ahead of Toulouse teammates Ganesh Pedurand, 2:03.20, and Romain Landry, 2:03.59.

Women's 100m freestyle

Charlotte Bonnet, of Nice, held off Mylene Lazare, of Sarcelles, 55.43 to 55.50 for the top two sports but neither will race the solo at London 2012, the target 54.57. They will be joined for the relay, assuming French selectors give the thumbs up, by the two Margauxs, Fabre, on 56.26, and Farrell, on 56.32.

Men's semi-final 50m freestyle

Laure's little brother Florent Manaudou smashed through the 22sec barrier with a 21.86 blast, third best in the world so far this year, in the first semi ahead of Fabien Gilot, on 22.29, and Nosy Pelagie, 22.46. Manaudou's best had been a 22.30 from the Paris Open last June.

In the second semi, partner to Laure and bro-in-family to Florent Fred Bousquet booked himself lane 5 for the final in 22.02, with Amaury Leveaux on 22.10 and Alain Bernard on 22.34 a day after his 100m Olympic defence came to an end. 

Olympic Season Takes Shape (two per nation):

  • 21.74 James Magnussen (AUS) 
  • 21.85 Cesar Cielo (BRA)
  • 21.86 Florent Manaudou (FRA)
  • 21.88 Eamon Sullivan (AUS)
  • 21.94 Nathan Adrian (USA)
  • 22.00 Marco Orsi (ITA)

In other events:

Florent's sister Laure made it a good day for the family with a 2:10.88 effort in the semis of the 200m backstroke that booked her lane 4 in the final with a 3sec advantage on next best.

Olympic Nice bolter at these trials, Clément Lefert, of Nice, claimed lane 4 for the final of the 100m butterfly in 52.68. Next through was Romain Sassot on 52.70, while USA visitor Tyler McGill clocked 52.83.