Hurt Manaudou omits S'pore meet

France's Florent Manaudou reportedly hurt his wrist while lifting weights in Marseille.
France's Florent Manaudou reportedly hurt his wrist while lifting weights in Marseille.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

France's Olympic and world 50m freestyle champion Florent Manaudou has pulled out of the Fina Swimming World Cup, which starts tomorrow at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

The 50m free (short-course) world record-holder is injured and failed to arrive in Singapore yesterday for the two-day meet.

According to a report on swimming website Swimstar.com, he injured his wrist during a weight-lifting session in Marseille.

The French sprint king, noted for his powerful 1.99m-tall and 101kg frame, was one of the biggest names set to make a splash here in the Republic.

At August's World Championships in Kazan, Russia, the 24-year-old was a triple gold medallist (50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 4x100m freestyle relay).

Manaudou, 24, also won the 50m free gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Singapore swimmer Danny Yeo feels that the Frenchman's absence is a loss but he believes this World Cup leg still has enough star power.

He told The Straits Times: "Manaudou is no doubt a big, world-class swimmer. But there are other big names such as Missy Franklin and Kevin Cordes who will be here as well.

"So I think it will still be an enjoyable experience for everyone, including fans, to look forward to."

While Manaudou's withdrawal is a blow for local fans, there will not be a shortage of elite swimmers competing here.

Swimming enthusiasts can expect to see a backstroke showdown between American four-time Olympic gold medallist Franklin, 20, and Australian double world champion Emily Seebohm, 23.

Another ace who will feature in the star-studded line-up is Hungarian multiple world record-holder and medley specialist Katinka Hosszu, 26.

Previously a short-course 25m competition, the event has taken on a long-course 50m format this year to act as an Olympic qualifier for next year's Rio de Janeiro Games.

The Singapore leg of the aquatic meet is the fifth stop of an eight-leg Swimming World Cup series.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2015, with the headline 'Hurt Manaudou omits S'pore meet'. Print Edition | Subscribe