Olympic champions for France and Nice training partners Camille Muffat and Yannick Agnel clocked season-leading times over 200m freestyle at the second round of the French Golden lanes circuit in Nice.
Olympic 400m champion Muffat set the pace at the helm of the early world rankings with a 1:57.55 win in the 200m free. That took her inside the 1:57.69 effort of Missy Franklin (USA) at the Austin Grand Prix and a 1:58.12 for Bronte Barratt (AUS) at the Super Series last week (Brittany Elmslie, of Australia, having clocked 1:57.71 at state titles on December 18, not the same year but part of the same season).
In Nice, Muffat's training partner Charlotte Bonnet took second in 1:58.86, with Alice Mizzau, of Italy, in 1:59.36.
Like Muffat, teammate and Olympic 200m champion Agnel is already showing good form at a time of hefty winter training, a 1:46.11 win in the 200m free a season leading effort inside the 1:47.30 he clocked at the first round of the circuit in Sarcelles earlier this month. In Nice today, he had little trouble winning, Italian's Luca Leonardi and Marco Belotti following the Frenchman home in 1:50.53 and 1:51.60 respectively.
In the opening distance events, Denmark's 20011 world champion Lotte Friis, Muffat's training partner in Nice, posted a season-pace-setting 16:17.34in the 1500m freestyle, while Sarcelles' Anthony Pannier clocked 8:01.86 to win the 800m freestyle ahead of Nice's Damien Joly, on 8:07.48.
Joint world champion of 2011, Jérémy Stravius, of Amiens, won the 100m backstroke in 54.21, ahead of Italy's Mirco Di Tora, on 55.54, and Spain's Miguel Rando, on 56.37.
Rando was back later for third place in the 50m butterfly, in 25.08, the winner Italy's Piero Corda, on 23.91 ahead of Lyon's Romain Sassot, on 24.53.
In other action, Arianna Barbieri, of Italy, took the 100m back in 1:01.91; Mélanie Henique, of Amiens, won the 50m butterfly in 26.59 ahead of Ilaria Bianchi, Italy's world s/c 100m champion, in 27.16, with 50m free winner Anna Santamans, of Nice, on 27.47; and David Verraszto (HUN) took the 400m medley in 4:19.65.