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Tex-Busting Marks For Muffat & Agnel

Nov 18, 2012  - Craig Lord

Nice training partners and Olympic champions Camille Muffat and Yannick Agnel brought their French short-course nationals campaign to a world-beating conclusion with global textile bests in their respective 200m freestyle finals.

  • His:   1:39.70 (2nd best ever and first inside 1:40 in textile - and 1:41 in current suit cut)
  • Hers: 1:51.65 (2nd best ever and first inside 1:52 in textile)

Coach Fabrice Pellerin will doubtless be smiling. 

Olympic 400m free champion Muffat's 1:51.65 the second-best ever after Italian former Olympic champion Federica Pellegrini's world mark of 1:51.17 from the shiny suits era. Olympic 200m freestyle champion Allison Schmidt (USA) has a 1:51.67 best from the shiny suits era.

Muffat's latest effort is her second global best in three days after an 8:01.07 in the 800m free world record on Friday. In Berlin at the world cup last month she clocked 3:54.53 over 400m freestyle, a world textile best. All three distances are now in her grip under current suit rules - and how.

  • Muffat's splits: 25.81; 53.79 (27.98), 1:22.51 (28.72); 1:51.65 (29.14; 57.86). 

Fabulous speed - and slower over the last 50m short-course free than that controversial split of Ye Shiwen's on day one of the London 2012 Games over 400m medley when she the Chinese schoolgirl swam faster than half the men's final down her last lap after making world champion Elizabeth Beisel (USA) look like a slouch on her way to the second-best time ever in a textile suit.

For Agnel in Angers, a world record of 3:32.25 in the 400m free last Thursday gave warning of more to come from the 200m freestyle Olympic champion. He delivered with a blistering, pioneering victory as first man ever inside 1:40 in textile suit. 

  • Agnel's splits: 23.13; 48.39 (25.26); 1:14.11 (25.72); 1:39.70 (25.59, 51.31).

His effort, inside his previous personal best of 1:41.95, is astonishing in the context of the current era: if a 1:39.37 remains the world record of Paul Biedermann (GER) from the shiny suits era, then no man had even gone inside 1:41 without the buoy of a bodysuit and nowhere near 1:40 in textile, Ryan Lochte (USA) the previous global best in 1:41.08 and Biedermann boasting a 1:40.83 best in a textile bodysuit.

The Stats of the two 200m freestyles:


The top five all-time (textile)

  • 1:51.65 Muffat (FRA) 2012
  • 1:52.42 Heemskerk (NED) 2010
  • 1:52.58 Sjostrom (SWE) 2011
  • 1:52.91 Hoff (USA) 2010
  • 1:52.96 Palmer (AUS) 2010

The top three all-time, all-suits dates back to December 2009 on the eve of the ban on non-textile suits:

  • 1:51.17 Pellegrini (ITA)
  • 1:51.65 Muffat (FRA)
  • 1:51.67 Schmitt (USA) 


The all-time top 5 (textile):

  • 1:39.70 Agnel (FRA) 2012
  • 1:41.08 Lochte (USA) 2010
  • 1:41.10 Thorpe (AUS) 2000
  • 1:41.89 vdHoogenband (NED) 2003
  • 1:42.02 Melloulli (TUN) 2010

The top five all suits, four from the shiny suits era:

  • 1:39.37 Biedermann (GER) 
  • 1:40.08 Izotov (RUS) 
  • 1:40.80 Hayden (CAN
  • 1:40.89 Townsend (RSA)

Lochte's best in textile comes next

In other action, Giacomo Dortona took the 200m breaststroke in 2:07.01 ahead of William Debourges, on 2:08.54; Anna Santamans took the freestyle dash in 24.69 ahead of Denmark's Pernille Blume, on 24.81; and the women's 200m backstroke went to Alexianne Castel in 2:05.42.