French coach Fabrice Pellerin gave his charge Yannick Agnel two tasks this morning on the opening day of racing at the Canet round of the Mare Nostrum Tour: two 200m efforts on 1:48. Agnel went through the 200m mark of the 400m free heats in 1:48.83, then followed up with a 1:47.99 in the 200m heats.
That, Pellerin tells L'Equipe in Canet, "is therefore perfect". Agnel won't race the 400m final, the 200m his Olympic target and the event he will focus on this evening alongside training partner in Nice Clément Lefert, 1:48.74, and Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:49.50, all others in the top 8 inside 1:50.
Another of Agnel's training partners, Camille Muffat, world No1 over 200m free this season, also made her mission possible this morning, a 55.5 100 on the way to 200m free set as her target by Pellerin, and a 55.30 delivered on the way to the final in 2:00.52.
Under 2mins this morning were Barbara Jardin (CAN), 1:58.68, Caitlin McClatchey (GBR), 1:59.36 , and Femke Heemskerk (NED), 1:59.96, with Melanie Costa (ESP) on 2:00.03.
Lars Frolander (SWE) won the Olympic 100m butterfly title in 2000 on 52.00. This morning, the 38-year-old clocked 52.36 to progress to the final at the helm. The time is the 10th best of his career and falls just 0.02shy of his best efforts at both the 2007 and 2011 world championships.
World 100m backstroke champion Camille Lacourt (FRA) clocked 55.82 to go through in 5th place, the lead with ben Treffers (AUS), 55.25, world 50m champion Liam Tancock (GBR) on 55.51 ahead of teammate Chris Walker-Hebborn, 55.80, and Charles Francis (CAN), 55.82. The second French charge bound for London 2012, Ben Stasiulis, suffering back ache, clocked 56.60 and will get no second swim.
On 1:00.43 at trials for third place in Britain and no 100m berth at London 2012, 200m ace Elizabeth Simmonds put in a solid 1:00.87 to lead the way through in the 100m backstroke ahead of Canadian Sinead Russell, on 1:01.73.
Four broke the minute in the women's 100m 'fly heats, Canadian Katarine Savard on 58.82 ahead of Ingvild Snildal (NOR), on 58.86, Francesca Halsall (GBR) on 59.11 and Inge Dekker, celebrating a big birthday for another world-class Dutch fly swimmer, through on 59.22.
The controversy of the morning was the disqualification of European 50m free champion Frédérick Bousquet, who budged on his blocks and will not now be able to take on Marseilles teammates and sprinters who made the London 2012 cut without him, brother-in-family Florent Manaudou and Fabien Gilot. Among those they will take on, Canadian Brent Hayden, this morning on 22.70 behind Hanser Garcia (CUB), 22.62, Iceland's Arni Arnason, 22.69. Gilot clocked 22.78, Manaudou 22.81.
Marseilles coach Romain Barnier lamented a missed opportunity for "a beautiful final", events have "spoilt the party a little".