MANAUDOU. Vice Olympic champion in Tokyo, Florent Manaudou is aiming for a new medal in these world championships.
While the French swimming team splashes the World Championships in Budapest with its youth and talent, Florent Manaudou now wants his share of the cake, he is the road captain of this team. Engaged this Thursday, June 23 in the series of the 50m freestyle, the vice Olympic champion of Tokyo was scared, but qualified for the semi-finals with the 13th time out of 16 qualified in 22’04 “. His race will be to follow on France 4 from 6:42 p.m.
But during these Worlds, Florent Manaudou does not envisage anything in particular. The one who has changed his place of training by leaving for the Alpes Maritimes, takes his role as captain above all to heart. ““I have a lot more desire to transmit since my return. I did not have the time and I was far from being the oldest until 2016. I had less need and this desire. It made me immediately liked when I did not think it would be a good role for me. The younger ones watch what the older ones do and I find it pleasant.”
Born on November 12, 1990 in Villeurbanne, in the suburbs of Lyon, Florent Manaudou preferred to play handball rather than dive into the pools in his youth, but combined the two sports during his early years. Pushed by his parents, the young boy ended up giving up handball to devote himself to swimming in 2003, at the age of 13. First trained by his older brother, he ended up joining the Cercle des nageurs de Marseille in 2011 and coach Romain Barnier, where he also trains periodically with his sister Laure.
After disappointing Worlds in 2011, he qualified for the London Olympics with a second place in the French championships. At only 22 years old, without any title in his pocket, the Villeurbannais surprised everyone and took the gold medal, ahead of the favorite César Cielo. He then enters a new dimension and is notably made Knight of the Legion of Honor. But he lagged in the pools thereafter with a disappointing Worlds in 2013, despite a 4×100m freestyle relay title.
From 2014, the French swimmer will on the other hand reign over his discipline. He won four gold medals at the European Championships and then in December became the most decorated French swimmer in the World Swimming Championships in Doha during the Short Course Worlds, where he won six medals. In 2015, he was finally crowned in the long pool at the Worlds, in Kazan, in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle. Double silver medalist at the Rio Olympics, notably in the 50m freestyle, Florent Manaudou then put his swimming career “on hold” in order to return to his first passion, handball.
But despite a few matches within the workforce of the first division club of Aix-en-Provence, the French swimmer does not manage to materialize his dream. He officially plunged back into the pools in January 2019, announcing to resume his career by aiming for the next two Olympiads. In good shape, Florent Manaudou won the first edition of the International Swimming League (ISL), a new 100% private competition, and achieved the third best world performance in short course history over 50 meters at the end of 2020. For his last great competition before Tokyo, he had to settle for a meager 5th place at the European Championships in May 2021.
Born on November 12, 1990, Florent Manaudou is now aged 30 years. An age that did not seem prohibitive when considering a return to swimming in 2019. “I tell myself that it will be easier than before. I think we are able to swim late, he explains today. Our sport is becoming more and more professional”. Weight is also not a concern according to the French swimmer, who explains: “When I arrived in Marseille in 2001, I was 86 kg. At the 2012 Games, 94 kg, at the 2016 Games, 100 kg, and there I do 104 kg. what matters is the power to weight ratio”. Before Tokyo, Florent Manaudou should have regained a fitness weight just under 100 kg with an identity card which indicated 99 kg on the France team website. size, Florent Manaudou is measured at 1m99.
Florent Manaudou enjoyed consecration at the London Olympics in 2012 with a gold medal in the 50m freestyle, but also collected two silver medals in Rio in 2016 (50m and 4 x 100m freestyle). He also won four gold medals at the 2015 Worlds, notably in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly. He also has 3 short course world titles (2014). The French also collected six titles at the European Championships in 2014 and 2016, as well as 5 titles at the European Short Course Championships in 2012, in Chartres. Regarding the French long-term championships, he collected 45 medals in total, including 32 gold.
- Olympic Games: 1 gold medal (50m, 2012), 2 silver medals (50m and 4x100m in 2016), 1 silver medal (50m, 2021).
- World Championships: 4 titles in long course (4x100m in 2013, 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 4x100m in 2015) and 3 titles in short course (50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 4x100m in 2014)
- European Championships: 6 long course titles between 2014 and 2016, and 5 short course titles, all in 2012.
- French Championships: 32 titles in long pool including 5 in 50m freestyle and 20 in short pool.
Florent Manaudou’s annual income jumped from his Olympic coronation in 2012. At the time, when he received just over 20,000 euros per year, he rose to around 140,000 euros per year , then 350,000 euros in 2013. Thanks to several partnerships and sponsorships, his emoluments climbed to more than 500,000 euros in 2015 before his handball break from the end of 2016. He has since returned to swimming and found his sponsors and , even if he only receives a fixed salary of 2000 euros at the Cercle des nageurs de Marseille, he also participated in the International Swimming League, a closed and private swimming competition with an interesting financial endowment.
During the end of his first swimming career, Florent Manaudou regularly displayed himself on the arm of his companion at the time, the French rider Fanny Skalli. The romance, which began in 2013, ended in October 2016 but the champion did not remain single for long since his relationship with his new girlfriend, a certain Ambre Baker, was formalized in January 2017. The couple is apparently separated in the course of the year 2018. The French swimmer is currently in a relationship with the Danish swimmer Pernille Blume, his teammate in the Energy Standard team and also qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, five years after his Olympic title gleaned in Rio… over 50 meters freestyle of course! The two swimmers formalized their relationship on February 14, 2020 on Instagram and then multiplied the pictures of lovers, especially on vacation. During the summer of 2021, the swimmer announced his engagement with the swimmer.
Florent Manaudou is the brother of French swimmer Laure Manaudou, gold medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games and multiple world, European and French champion. He also has a brother, Nicolas, who coached him early in his career. The name of Florent Manaudou is inseparable from that of his sister Laure who served as his guide in the world of swimming during his younger years and who decided to retire from swimming in 2013, at the age of 27, after a busy career (three Olympic medals, one gold, three world champion titles, eighteen European champion titles…). The image of Laure Manaudou jumping on her brother’s neck after the latter’s victory in the 50m final at the London Olympics in 2012, which had toured the world, testifies to the beautiful bond that unites them. Before this return to swimming, Florent Manaudou also clarified that he had put his sister in the confidence. “He was one of the first people I spoke to about it, he explained. She thought I was going to resume but maybe a little later”.
After having practiced both swimming and handball for a long time during his childhood, Florent Manaoudou finally opted for the basins, at the beginning of adolescence. A paying choice which notably allowed him to create a surprise at the 2012 Olympics by winning the Olympic title in the 50m freestyle. After several at the highest level, he finally decided to take a break in September 2016, after winning two silver medals at the Rio Olympics. He then declared: “I remain an active swimmer. I want to preserve and keep the pleasure which has been my main driving force during these eight years. I have decided to take a break”. In the end, it lasted two and a half years.
After announcing his retirement from the pools in 2016, Florent Manaudou quickly and naturally turned to his youthful passion, handball, and the Aix-en-Provence club, which hosted him for more than two years at the within his reserve team (National 2). For the main interested party, the bet is successful. “I knew I would never be in the France team, he says today. I knew it would be complicated to play in D1. In fact, I broke my finger in November playing handball, just before that I had been contacted by a pro club. It didn’t happen but in my head, I had succeeded in my challenge”.